My L5R Campaign is set pre Clan War and This is Rob's Character's Journal Written as a series of letters to his lord and sensei Kakita Toshimoko.
I hope that this missive finds you well. The honour you do me and my family with a position at the Topaz Championship cannot yet be repaid. I will do all that I can to bring honour to you and your teachings.
I understand that Shino-san has also been chosen to attend. His skill is an equal to my own and a credit to your tutelage. I hope the steel of his ability is not engulfed by the flame of his ambition.
I remain your most humble of servants.
I am pleased to report the first two days of competition went well, despite a few disturbing events. My cousin Sezume Daijiro-chan of the Sparrow was also chosen to attend the championship, sponsored by our clan. I am sure that you must have had a hand in his selection and I thank you for extending this opportunity to my noble cousin. I am once more in your debt.
In the sumei I drew Hiruma Do of the Crab, a most worthy if exuberant opponent. I was able to direct him from the circle but I fear if he had caught hold of me he would have over powered me.
I fear I did not do you as much honour as you deserve in the test of my knowledge of heraldry. I must devote more time to my studies of the coats of arms of our celestial emperor’s honoured servants.
The following next event was the race. I drew against Shiba Takako of the Phoenix and Agasha Gojinka of the Dragon. Takako-san was more than my equal in swiftness and easily took the lead. Despite a hard fought pursuit I was finally able to see of Gojinka-san and took a worthy second place.
Honoured sensei, I must report that I believe someone is trying to sabotage the competition and cause harm to its worthy competitors. I do not wish to speak it out loud to Miya Shoin-sama or the other arbiters as I am sure this will drive the cowardly saboteurs further into their dark burrows. If you command it I will of course tell them everything but I would beg your indulgence in conducting my own exploration of the events.
During the Kenjitsu competition, I was drawn against the most praiseworthy Yuriko of the Mantis. She fought ferociously and struck me a tremendous blow but in doing so left herself over extended and exposed. I could have struck and ended the fight but I noticed that the padding on her Yumi had come loose and the gleam of metal was clearly seen below. I paused and called for the arbiters who called an end to our bout and ordered the other weapons checked.
That very evening, Kakita Shino-san was arguing with Mirumoto Otakan of the Dragon. I thought Shino-san was acting foolishly and trying to goad Otakan into a duel in order to shame him, but now I think he may have known something I did not.
Either way, the Dragon did not rise to his challenge and both retired to bed shortly after.
I dreamt that night of a great dragon of shadow clad in gleaming Topaz armour, coiled around Tsuma. Where ever The Dragon’s body touched, scorpions could be seen scurrying into the darkest shadows. I have spoken to no Shugenga of this but this omen cannot be good for this competition or our clan.
I composed myself as best as I could for the Haiku challenge. I earned a point form the arbiter but I do not believe mine to be the best effort. I must spend more time at court.
Myself and Daijori-san were drawn together for the tests of our knowledge of Bushido. My cousin did well and told a...detailed story to prove his knowledge of our guiding principals but I was able to argue a subtle point of honour to emerge victorious. Perhaps my lack of court attendance will not be as much of a hinderance as I had first thought.
Our task for the hunt was to retrieve eggs from a fish that is found in the forest lakes around Tsuma. Myself and my cousin were again selected together, along with Kuni Shinichi of the Crab, Togashi Nagasaki of the Dragon, and Shosuro Sakura of the Scorpion.
We travelled into the forest and kuni-san proved her worth. She clearly has a strong connection to The Ring of Earth as she summoned an earth spirit which easily allowed us to collect the eggs we required. Mere minutes after starting our search we were heading back to claim our victory when we heard sounds of battle from deep into the woods.
We ran quickly and came upon another band of competitors, including Shino-san, under attack from 3 dishonourable Ronin. Their leader wore a crude mempo and was fighting with great skill and a feeling of familiarity nagged at me. As we drew closer, the leader drew back his blade and cut Kakita Shino-san down in one slice, and with a back swing carved into Xuren of the Unicorn, dropping him to the ground. As our tattoed companion from the Dragon unleashed a blast of flame at him, I charged into to challenge him.
Forgive me Toshimoko-sama, but I do not fully understand what happened next. The leader called out to refuse my challenge but the voice that came from his lips was that of my father. He attacked me with great energy and skill and I was barley able to fend him off. He cut into my side with a flick of his Katana but I was able to counter attack. His blade flew to stop mine but fuelled by my rage I was able to move past his defence and cut him down. Fearing the taint of the Shadowlands I used a finger of jade on the corpse before Shinichi-san turned her powerful abilities on his body to remove any chance of the taint. The blast caught me as well and I am pleased to report that it revealed no taint on either me or the corpse.
Whatever dark force allowed the voice of my father to issue from the lips of this despicable ronin must be sought out and destroyed. I humbly ask that I be allowed to pursue this course.
Tomorrow sees a new dawn and the Iajitsu competition, which I have high hopes of doing well in. I will ensure that I do not shame you and will do my best to bring glory to you and your school.
I will entrust this letter to a trusted servant and I trust it reaches you swiftly.
May the blessings of the Kami fall upon you.