The Era of the Mountain Prince

Dragon Civil War: Prologue
Gathering Clouds

A voice called Kakita Kaze from the edge of the woods where he had been training with his Kenku masters for the past ten days. It belonged to Isawa Umiko, who had a message for him to carry to Toku Hidayoshi in Kyuden Shosuro. He nodded and agreed, hurrying off.

On his arrival, Kaze learned that ten years had passed, and the message came from the Oracle of Water, warning “A Danger is Rising in the North.” Hidayoshi is now the assistant to Kakita Taro, the Emerald Champion, and Kaze’s grandfather according to Imperial Histories. Tamori Kurisu, a longtime friend of the Bear Clan Champion, arrived with a gift to the Winter Court Hosts, from the minor clans. Hidayoshi had Kurisu verify that the message was from the Oracle of Water. When this was confirmed, he sent Akodo Kensai to report to his mother, the Shogun.

Akodo Ai hurried to meet with Hidayoshi. She revealed the Dragon Clan Champion had requested an audience with her as soon as he arrived in Kyuden Shosuro, and it was likely the same event. She started to marshal her forces, including Hiruma Sagai in preparation.

The gift from the minor clans was missing. Kurisu spoke with the kami, and learned that “the scared one stole the secret”. Sagai, and experienced scout, tracked the thief to a burnt out Scorpion school, used to train shinobi centuries ago. Akodo Kensai crept through the narrow tunnel and found Hida Hana.

She had ripped the painting by accident, and her brother HIda Gasuton convinced her that Toku-Sama would duel her to the death over it, so she chose to hide. Hidayoshi lectured both of them and quietly assumed he was owed a favour by Hida Hamko.

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Update: 2015

So, even though Return of Diagotsu Jinn is a sequel, to Homefire Castle, because both these games are continuations of Era of the Mountain Prince, I’ll be reactivating this wiki as it holds the history.

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A Couple of Things

Just doing this fast.

Went to Toshi Ranbo, trained with Ruby Champion Ide Benkie.

Shogun Toturi Sozen traind Mirumoto Lu and promoted Akodo Hisaki to Gunso.

Kakita Kourutore meet Matsu Juri, who explained Tiru was a bad samurai, that Matsu Kara was a brave samurai who died honourably and Kakita Kara was someone different. Presented Kourutore with a Matsu ancestoral prayer tablet.

Went to Kyuden Asoko. Just before arriving, Emerald Magistrate Kitsuki Haruhi and her Sohei Gare came to bring them to the Village of Melting Snow, where she was attacked by the Goekon, Asoko Yatohime. When they arrived at the village, the peasants wouldn’t talk to the samurai. togashi Irisu was able to find out the peasants were congregating in a few central homes. Something was huning the edge of the village. The castle,wouldn’t let them in.

They set up a trap, and sent Irisu out in the night. Asoko Yatohime appeared, and tried to get him to come back to the castle. When the magistrates appeared.she attacked, and was identified as a bog hag, a monster which skins its victims and wears their form.

The Prince’s Glory went to the castle. and the gaurds fought them, while most of the samurai there escaped out the back. They captured a few of the gaurdsment, who admitted strange things had happened with their lord, but they didn’t realize she was tainted. Miyuki gaurded them and then allowed them to commite Seppku.

Kitsuki Haruhi, Togashi Irisu, Akodo Hisaki, Mirumoto Lu, and Kakita Kurutore went to find the Oni shaped door Kitsuki had seen before. Inside, they found a bunch of porcelon masks, and a group of zombies wearing masks trying to mine through the wall to a strange purple glow. They fought the zombies, but when one killed Akodo Hisaki, Mirumoto Lu, Kitsuki, Irisu fled, and Kourutore covered their escape. They locked the door and the zombies knocked out Kourutore out. Miyuki arrived, and demaned to go inside. Irisu and Kitsuki fought off the monsters while Miyuki pulled the bodies out, pleased to learn Kourutore was still alive.

They returned to Kyuden Asoko. Isawa Nyoko, a young pheonix shugenja, healed Kuroutore, and Doji Tokiuji had Kourutore prepare three reports, one for Asoko Kanube, the local family damiyo, the Emerald Champion and the Jade Champion.

At supper Suzume Natsuki let Toku Noburu that there was a rumour circling that Miyuki was too drunk to help at Melting Snow.

Asoko Kanube brought Kourutore in to settle an argument as to whether the Jade Magistrate Kuni Namaro or Asoko Inquisitor Asoko Inari should investigate. Kuni was very aggresive, cliaming the Asoko would just cover it up. Kuorotore insisted this was an imperial matter, insulting his hosts. Otomo Kyo stepped in, offering an expensive gift to smooth things over, and let Otomo know if he needed any help.

When they returned to the castle, they found that the masks and whatever was mined was stolen as soon as they left, by some strange three toed monster, and about 8 humanish followers, likely zombies. Kuni Namaro suggested the Prince’s Glory assist him in patroling the area to find the monsters. the new Gunso, the Shogun’s son Toturi Oki, agreed and committed half the unit.

A strange man appeared in Koroutore’s room in Kyuden Asoko, saying that there was a burden Akodo Iroden and KAkita Tiru’s family lines shared, but the Kakita had set it aside, and with Akodo Irisu dead, the Kakita needed to resume it. He gave Koretore a strange powder, which filled his mind with sinful thoughts, and four days later, brought the acomplished Geisha Momoko to sleep with him. She claimed the ghost of her father had commanded it.

The strange man, who turned out to be Usagi Ariso, returned, and said the woman was with child, and Koroutore was to keep her safe, and give the child his grandfathers wakazashi, which had a wrapped saya. Korutore made arrangements with his Kenku teachers to take Momoko when she began to show.

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Two Scorpion Parties

Month of the Hare, 14-21

After the end of the Topaz Championship, Akodo Hisaki and Hida Risoko returned to the Toshi Ranbo to the Ruby Doji, and began recruiting the rest of the Prince’s glory. Meanwhile, Bayushi Miyuki was placed in charge of the Unit, to escort Kakita Chibi Tore to the parties he was to attend in Scorpion Lands.

In Kyuden Bayushi, they stayed with Tsurichi Aizen the local Emerald Magistrate. He lived ossentatiously, and in a private conversation he let Chibitore know that he was quite found of the perks of the job. He suggested lavish gifts for both Bayushi Sakku and Bayushi Yumi and Miyuki for their Gempekkus. Chibitore opted for more simple girfts.

A young courtier named Shosuro Zenshin fawned over Toku Noburu to try and gain his favour.

AT the party, Bayushi Tozen presented Sakku with his own No-Dachi, an act which infuriated Miyuki.

Bayushi Yumi and Miyuki presented him with a painting of Hantei Ryozu as a Sumie wrestler, in honour of his unexpected victory in sumie at the Topaz Championship. He presented them each with scrolls, Miyuki`s reading `Beautiful Warrior`

Noburur recieved a scroll with the word `Brother`

Togashi Irisu recieved a scroll with the words `Enlightened Wanderer`

mirumoto Lu was presented with flowers he had gathered at each shrine on the way home. Lu immediately arranged them into an Ikebana gift for the Scorpion. In doing so, he caught the attention of Asoko Ken, the Phoenix Ambassador, who offered his aid to the young Dragon, either in Kyuden Bayushi or in Pheonix Lands.

The next day, the Prince`s Glory travelled to High Pine Vale for Miyuki`s Gempekku party. The night they arrived, Yumi threw a party in their honor. She and Chibitore seemed to greatly enjoy each other`s company. In the morning, both Kakita Chibitore and Toku Noburu were sick. A shugenja was sent for, and Yogo Setia told them they had `High Mountain Sickness` He healed Noburu, but Chibitore refused mystic healing. As his sickness did not abate, he eventually sent for Tamori Hana. She agreed that the symptoms looked like High Mountain Sickness, but it had gone on for far too long. She claimed it must be the richness of the food, and asked Irisu to prepare Chibitore simplier food, as a holy man`s cooking should heal him.

A scorpion bushi, Soshi Tamekogo, scoffed at Mirumoto Lu. Lu challanged him to a duel, and after the assesment, Tamakogo bowed out and began to refer to him as Dragon-Sama.

Yumi, as a gift, designed a Mon for the Prince`s Glory, showing the sun rising behind the Mountain of the Seven Thunders. Chibitore presented them with a pair of matching pear tree saplings.

At Miyuki`s invitation, the last samurai in the line, a mempoed Unicorn, removed her mempo to reveal Shinjo Tozenko. She presented her triplet sisters tantos which matched the one on her belt. She went inside. Bayushi Tozen had Bayushi Keiji fetch his full white mempo, which covered his face more completely and which he traditionally did not wear away from the battle field. Yumi spent the party complimenting Miyuki and suggesting typical Unicorn actions would lead to her expulsion from their family, as she wouldn’t be worthy of the Bayushi name.

Shosuro Mia admired Irisu’s gift of a story of Tozen saving the Lion Banner from the Unicorn, and his tatoos, and they quietly left the party together.

After the party, Tozen took both his daughters to a small room, which contained two masks, both crafted in steel, one with the Air Kanji wresting on the wearers cheekbones, and one with the Fire Kanji in the same place. He quized them in the typical Scorpion manner about the guests at their Gempekku. Afterwards, he presented Yumi with the Air Mask.

He turned to Miyuki in disgust, and ripped the sleeve of his kimono, handing her the rag. “You obviously do not value the Bayushi name. Return when you know what it is work, and maybe you’ll be worthy to carry it.”

Miyuki left in disgust for her warrior pilgrimage. She threw the mask on the ground and returned to the barracks. Soon after, Yumi appeared and handed her entire stipend over to her sister. Bayushi Keiji came shortly after, and handed her the mask. “You may decide you want this. Keep it in case” he told her, and then left.

Chibitore went to speak to Tozen, who dominated the conversation. He made arrangements to have the unit outfitted in armor from a Kiau engineer he knew in the Imperial city, as long as the source stayed secret. He provided them with 25 horses as well, and instructed Chibitore that if “Either of them falls, send them to Lonely Pine Vale for burial.”

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The Topaz Ronin

After the Iaijitsu tournement finished, there was an air of urgency about Tsuma. There was a rush to finish the Gempekku ceremony, and chase the ronin which had attacked Bayushi Naseru, Moto Xen, and Toku Noburu during the competition.

Bayushi Kitsuneko presented Bayushi Ame with her grandfather’s sword, which had a Yogo mon worked into the steel just above the hilt. She was confused, and concerned it was an insult from her father.

Akodo Hisaki heard Kitsu Sako sobbing on the other side of a Shoji screen. He entered the room properly and found her writting a letter to request Seppku. He convinced her not to present it, and she let him keep it.

At the ceremony, Hantei Yamihitooji swore to Hantei XL and Kakita Chibi Tore swore to him. The other Gempekku graduates then swore to their clan representative, and the ceremony completed.

Ikomo Narako, the Emerald Champion, pulled Kakita Kurotore aside, and let him know that even as a Topaz Champion, she did not feel it was proper for him to accept the position of Emerald Magistrate if he was not planning to work hard for the Magistrates, or learn their ways. He agreed with her, and accepted the task of tracking down the ronin.

Bayushi Sakku (previously Naseru) began to invite people to his Gempekku party, including Kurotore, Kakita Chibitore, and Togashi Irisu. Bayushi Miyuki (previously Ame) did the same, but also invited Shinjo Tosenko (previously Ai), who did not seem interested until she learned that Miyuki was at odds with her father.

Akodo Hoshi had Akodo Hisaki summoned to him, and introduced him to Hida Risoko, who had been one of the princes teachers and Yojimbos. Risoko had been tasked with putting together a unit of young samurai called the Prince’s Glory, which would serve Hantei Yamahitooji. Hoshi recommended Hisaki as Nitai, so that the young group would have some leadership. Risoko agreed. Hisaki’s first task was to gather the seeds of the unit from the various contestants and assist Kurotore in hunting down the Ronin. Hisaki tried to insist the Kitsu Sako should be included, and Akodo Siori had to pull him asside, promising to send Sako to him as soon as she completed Gempekku, but inisting he drop the issue now.

The next morning, the young samurai set out, with Shinjo Tozenko and Toku Noburu on large Unicorn Steeds, and the rest walking. The returned to the place of the attack, and had an easy time tracking the injured men. Several miles down te road, a tiger trap snapped up around Toku Noburu, who was able to escape with his quick reflexes. The group began to move slower to avoid further traps. A few miles further, they noticed a pit on the road, and as the examined it, a huming bulb arrow went of in the woods. The samurai tried to chase the ronin who shot it, but the trees were too thick, and they couldn’t catch him.

But Irisu ran on the trees, not through them. He caught up to the ronin and defeated the man in single combat. He brought them back, and he admitted their were no additional traps. He also said that Azu hired the rest of the ronin in Nanashi Mura, and they don’t know who the head ronin was working for. Hisaki had Diadoji Tsusama take the ronin back to Tsuma. The continued on to the woodsmen’s hut where the ronin should be hiding, but with the warning of the humming bulb, no one expected to find them there.

The hut was on a step hill, and they had to leave the horses behind as the descended the slope into the trees behind it. A short distance in, Toku Noburu noticed rising smoke. The ronin had started a fire to slow them. Tamori Hana extinguished it effortlessly, and they caught up with the ronin on the edge of the forest, as they hurried across fields of rice patties.

Akodo Hisaki demanded they stop, and the ronin Azu challanged him to a duel to allow the three ronin to go free. Mirumoto Lu accepted on the Nitai’s behalf, but the blind swordsman was unable to match the ronin. Hisaki allowed the ronin to depart, and Kakita Kurotore demanded Azu come with them. He insulted the Crane, told him he was a fool, and insisted on another duel. Kurotore obliged, and the ronin lost.

As they returned, he told them that he had been the Topaz Champion in 1187, as he had been born to the Diadoj family. In service of Doji Goro he had been commanded to enter into an illegal duel with a Pheonix ex-lover of the Crane Clan Champion, and the Goro’s promise of protection meant Azu had been made ronin instead of executed for his crime. His attack was an act of vengance against the clan which had abandoned him.

Just outside the village, Goro met them as they escorted Azu. He had his yojimbo excute the ronin on the spot. Kakita Kurotore was concerned about how to present his report to the Emerald Champion, and so he asked Bayushi Sakku to help him compose it, to ensure the right parts were left out. Ikomo Narako was pleased with his report.

The next day, Akodo Hoshi began to call out Doji Goro, saying the Crane shouldn’t keep the village of Tsuma safe while the Empress visited, they shouldn’t keep it. Kakita Ami challanged him to a duel for the insult, but Hoshi said he would only consent if it was to the death, and Ami was championing Goro, who would share the fate of his champion. Goro looked over at Doji Machi, the Imperial Chancellor, who insisted it would not do to have the Prince’s Gempekku with the death of a Clan Champion. Akodo Hoshi announced he would return at the head of a Matsu army, looking for Goro’s blood.

To avoid the situtation, the Prince’s Glory and the Topaz Champion were asked to escort the Scorpion Clan Champion to his home. After fufilling their social obligations in Scorpion lands, they were to report to the Ruby Dojo in Toshi No Ranbo.

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The 1190 Topaz Championship
The Empire's most presitigious Gempekku

After years of training with the Kenku, Kakita Chibi Tore returned to proper society at the age of 13, to participate in the 1190 Topaz Championship in the City of Tsuma. He came alone, an searched the town for lodgings. At the The Laughing Carp Sake House, they suggested that he might be better served at the Wise Student Ryokan. At the Ryokan, he was infrmed the Crane Delegation had not prepared for him in their room, but they offered him space in the Shinsie room designated for Minor Clans.

Meanwhile, Togashi Iriso came to town, and decided his delegation would stay at the Sake House. He let the Ryokan know that he wouldn’t need his room there, and so the inn keeper moved Kakita Chibitore was moved to the Murimoto room.

Toku Noboru and his Sensei Toku Rabu came, and the son of the Scorpion Clan Champion, Bayushi Naseru told him about the Lonely Crane, who wasn’t allowed to stay with the other Crane. They needed to find out where he was staying, so they wrote an anonymous love letter, sealed it, and asked the inn keeper to deliver it. They followed him, and found where Chibitore was staying. They sat with him, and misunderstood him about his training, believing he was gaijin trained.

The other delegations continued to trickle in, with the largest suprise being when Bayushi Ame found that the Unicorn Shinjo Ai looked exactly like her. Toku Noboru suggested it may be one of Chibitore’s gaijin spells, and they needed to make sure he didn’t attack the Empress, who was in attendance.

During the athletics competition, Shinjo Ai fell into a muddy pit while racing Mirumoto Lu. She screamed in pain, and he went back to help her. It turned out she had been bitten by snakes. Lu helped her to the finish line, but when they arrived she told him to cross alone. Isawa Yamahito went to the mud, and found it was full of snakes. He removed them, and the competition continued.

That night, Kakita Ryujin tried to challange the dragon Mirumoto Hisashi to a duel. In the end, Lu accepted to defend the honour of his school, and the duel ended in a kharmic strike.

Naseru gathered as many students as he could, and brought them to the Sake house. Eventaully, a drinkin compettion broke out between Agashi Yu, Tamori Hana, and Hida Kotuzu. Tamori Hana won, an then lost in a followup competition to Irisu.

Akodo Siori tasked Akodo Hisaki to find the missing Lion contestant, Akodo Ryuzo. Hisaki checked the Sake House, the Ryokan, and eventually found that Ryuso had gone to visit his bethrothed’s father, Kakita Tadoshi. He had been allowed to bring his swords, and forgotten them at the door. Hisaki was forced to visit the house, leave his blades at the door, take the students, and then return, claiming he had forgotten his Daishio, in order to save face for his clan.

In the mornng, Agashi Yu had come to the Scorpions to beg help, as his father in law, Otomo Kyo, had arrived, and he was in no state to meet him. Ame agreed to help, but took one look at Kyo, changed her min, and brough him directly to Agashi Yu.

The weapons competition was sabatoged like the athletics competition. The bisento Tamori Hana used turned out to be sharpened, and she cut Chibitore with it in error. It turned out the weapon area had been set up the night before, so anyone had access to it.

In the hunting competition, Moto Xen, the brother of the Unicorn Clan Champion, Toku Noboru, and Bayushi Naseru were attacked by a group of ronin. They tried to fight them, but without their Daishio they were underarmed. Naseru threw a smoke bomb, and ran. Toku followed him, but realized Moto Xen hadn’t come. He went back and pulled the Unicorn with him.

When they told the story back at Tsuma, there was a great deal of concern. Toku Noboru and Kakita Chibitore both wanted to investigate, but they eventually decided it would be easier if they waited to the next day, after the iaijitsu tournment and the gempekku ceremony, when they were full Samuria and could carry their swords.

Moto Zhu invited the Monkey to dine with them that night, and enjoyed Noboru’s lack of manners. He rewarded him with an Utaku Steed.

In the Iaijitsu tournement, Kakita Chibitore beat Kakita Kyujin, to be the Champion. Bayushi Ame came in third, and Suzume Natsuki came in fourth.

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