We played the 2nd session last night finishing the Topaz Championship. Here is Dave's recounting.
Suzume Tomo-sama e
Autumn clutches leaf,
Jade turns to bronze upon the
breeze, Tree sheds its gold.
Father, I have news of much import, after the second days activities of the Topaz championship had drawn to a close, my friends and I were returning to the sleeping quarters, when we came across Bayushi Denbe standing over the bodies of 3 ninja and Doji Wakao of the Crane. Doji-san was dead when we got there, and Bayushi was lightly injured. They had been rumoured to be arguing over a lady they had a mutual interest in, but I am unaware of the precise details, and do not wish to cast aspersions based upon court rumours.
Upon our return to the main hall with Bayushi-san, we were met by the Emerald Champion no less, he was an impressive man, with an inspiring aura about him. He analysed the situation and was about to adjudicate when Usagi Kamahime of the Hare Clan accused him of murdering the Crane. Bayushi-san instantly responded by challenging her to a duel the next morn, which she accepted. I awoke early to observe the duel, and I must admit that I hoped that Usagi-san won, as I had enjoyed a few conversations with her, and she seemed short-tempered, but interesting. Alas it was not to be, and the suns first rays caught the hare’s last moments. Kuni Shinechi of the Crab, was not happy about this, but contained her anger at the duel. She strikes me as unusual for a Crab, which is no bad thing! She is gruff, but very kind-souled, and rescued me from carousing Crabs, which is no mean feat, but an amusing alliteration, as the old Sparrow saying goes. It is all as Grandmother used to say “those who look out over a wall had better pay attention to the state of their kimono.” I still do not fully understand the meaning, but I believe I am on my way to finding out.
The next day I won in the first round of Iaijutsu duels against the Phoenix Shiba Takoko, but was bested by Bayushi Denbe of the Scorpion clan in the next round. It was a tightly fought affair, but Bayushi-san was my better upon this occasion. My cousin, Daidoji Hoshi lost against Miromoto Otakan of the Dragon Clan. I was very surprised at first, but upon observing Miromoto-san’s stance in the final I realised that he has great skill.
After all contests Miromoto-san was announced as the Topaz Champion, justifiably so as there was only one contest that he failed. He is a tribute to the Dragon clan. There is a Dragon monk who attended the tournament, Togashi Nagasaki, who I found intriguing. The Dragon truly are as you described, answering in riddles on one hand, and winning contests on the other.
I did the Sparrow proud, finishing joint second with Hoshi-chan. Bayushi-san finished third, so once more the Sparrow clan have held off the Scorpions! I decided not to mention the irony to him. Once the presentation was complete, Hoshi-chan and myself were approached by the Emerald Champion himself, and he offered us the positions of Emerald Magistrate, to travel to the area of Ryoko Owari in the Scorpion lands! I was therefore very glad that I had not mentioned the irony to the Scorpion.
I am honoured that the Emerald Champion himself would offer me a position as a magistrate and I swore an oath to uphold the respect the position holds. I intend to fully research the position and its responsibilities and become the best magistrate there is. I believe coming from the Sparrow Clan will aid me in this task as I have no ties to major clans and can act impartially. I will enjoy working in this task alongside Hoshi-chan, as he is one of the best swordsmen I have ever seen, even if he is loath to boast of his prowess. Kuni Shinechi of the Crab, Shosuro Sakura of the Scorpion, and Togashi Nagasaki of the Dragon were selected to assist us. I feel unworthy of their assistance, as they each have skills beyond my own. Shosuro is an unknown quantity at the moment, but her help will be invaluable as she is of the Clan whose lands we shall be in. Working with a Dragon Monk is an honour all of itself, and I am hope to return home soon to inform you further of our progress. How is Grandfather getting along? The Crab clan samurai very much enjoyed one of his stories which I recounted at the drinking party, so much so that 4 of them even closed their eyes to enable them to fully envision the scene. I was very impressed by their dedication to the story, and afterwards inquired after their names, and I have sent them the written transcripts so that they may be able to recount the tales to their fellows.
Well father, I must get on, but here is a poem I wrote in honour of my appointment.
Yo, check this shit out,
Sparrow Clan did kill this man,
Haiku funk you fool.
(Actually scratch that last one, it hardly seems fitting…)
Neutral as the sun,
Justice shines on all who breathe,
Emperor sees all.
(I prefer the first one)
Suzume Dirojiro, Emerald Magistrate.
(Destroyer of Worlds, e.t.c)