Emperor: The 19th year of the reign of Hantei XXXVIII
Emerald Champion: Doji Satsume
Clan Champions: Hida Kisada (Crab), Doji Satsume (Crane), Togashi Yokuni (Dragon), Akodo Toturi (Lion), Shiba Ujimitsu (Phoenix), Bayushi Shoju (Scorpion), Shinjo Yokatsu (Unicorn)
Shinjo Smith and Mirumoto Takishi, having completed their training the previous winter, are amongst the latest recruits to join Doji Satsume’s Emerald Magistrates. Other graduates this year include Kakita Ukyo, Bayushi Sugai and Kuni Matsuda.
Shinjo Smith, Mirumoto Takishi and Kuni Matsuda are assigned to travel with Daidoji Uji, the Daidoji Family Daimyo, to the holdings of the Tsume vassal family for the upcoming Bon Festival. Tsume Retsu, the Tsume Daimyo, is murdered after the festival, and suspicion falls upon the other local Daimyos, all who have had recent problems with Retsu. The magistrates uncover the tale of how Retsu forcefully took Kyotei Castle from its previous owner; a Lion Daimyo called Damasu Kojima, killed his sons and sold his daughter into slavery. It was discovered that a local geisha called Reika, claiming to be Kojima’s daughter, is responsible for the murder.
The magistrates were able to bring both Reika and her protector, the ronin Itto to justice. Itto claimed to be a former Damasu samurai and had told Reika of her heritage. Further questioning of Itto before his execution revealed that he had been able to track Damasu’s daughter to the geisha house using information bought from a Scorpion merchant who used to live in Chikuzen village. The validity of this information cannot be determined.
While it cannot be conclusively proven that Reika was Kojima’s daughter, there are those amongst the Crane that see Retsu’s murder as a further sign of Lion aggression against their clan. Matsu Tsuko petitions the Emperor to allow war between the two clans, but the Emperor refuses.