Musha Shugyo

The Scorpion

- Road to Shosuro castle was fraught with bad weather and no shelter to speak of until Satoru found an abandoned shrine just off the road side;
- Shrine was just a simple room with thick wooden beams, a small garden and overgrown with weeds and littered with dead leaves, dust and bugs;
- Takeshi and Raoki clean up the place as best they could while Raoki wants to reconsecrate the shrine;
- The two Shugenja, Raoki and Genma try to commune with an Earth spirit and summon 2 new statues to replace the old, broken ones. Genma and Shun repaint the statues. In the morning all are surprised when they find a warm breakfast laid down on front of them;
- The weather turns even worse when the party reaches Castle Shosuro. Proper welcomes are observed and many people turn up in the hall near the fire in individual palanquins as are the heroes. Everything seems to make noise in here and the villages are inside the keep not outside as is the norm;
- The inner keep is very small. The heroes are led to a spa. There is music and all bathe and drink and then are escorted to dinner;
- The lord of the castle herself, Norio Shosuro, is presented with the imperial missive. She does not give an answer but commences the dinner;
- Everyone is given a different meal, which is a meal typical of their region;
- An attendant drops some sake on Takeshi and he recognizes her as Shinobu, the one they met at the Topaz championship and also at the Moto castle. She apologizes but immediately stands up, shifts clothing and starts a dance accompanied by many other servants;
- After the meal the heroes are asked their opinion about the production by the Daimyo. General Jubei joins in the discussion as they and the heroes engage in a ‘hypothetical’ discussion on the merits of the production’s imaginary characters;
- The Daimyo informs the heroes that the Scorpions will commit to the Emperor’s war by providing 200 samurai, 500 Ashigaru, Jubei himself to lead them and also a number of seasoned actors and courtiers;
- Genma communes with Water spirits to try and make the rain stop. He succeeds, but at a cost; he cannot cast water spells for the duration of the journey to Nihai Tower;
- The Heroes head east from Castle Shosuro, cross the river and end up in wetlands;
- They come to an encampment blocked by a lake. The only road goes through the lake and carts are stuck on it;
- Two people are duelling in the encampment. One is big and looks overconfident while the other is small and looks uncertain. The small one floors the big guy with a deft move. The win gets him some food and coin. The winner is in rags;
- Shun duels the small guy and the latter surrenders. Shun offers him employment but he is refused. Instead Shun gifts him a small book about swordsmanship;
- Meanwhile Genma and Takeshi help out with the carts and Raoki uses magic to help raise the caravans to a manageable level of water;
- The carts are moved and the heroes make good time by riding hard to arrive to Nihai Tower before sundown.


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