Rokugan: Shadow Creeping
Travelogue of Kitsu Busaru
Once at the castle of Shiro no Yojin, Matsu Chokoku gathers me and a few others for a mission to retrieve a scroll that was stolen from family Kitsu, my family. My mind races at this chance to prove myself, the honor shall be mine to restore… there is however a catch. As I listen to Matsu’s orders for discretion and none shall know that we believe the Hare clan has stolen our scroll, my mind starts to try and figure out how this will be accomplished, nothing comes to mind coming. Matsu explains that he will have our papers delivered to us and apologizes for what we will have to be do.
It was on thing for Matsu to charge me with a Crane to accompany me, but I trust his judgment, it was another thing that Matsu’s delivery to us, comes up blank. As the task at hand demands secrecy and traveling along the imperial roads demands us to have proper papers, I turn to my newly acquired team to see what they wish to do. I give them the two best options I can see; either go off the path though the forests, or find someone who can properly fill out papers. I am torn between this as I’m honor bound and would not like to have the papers filled out illegally, however with the urgency of the mater it would be much quicker to follow the imperial road. I decide to offer the question to my companions as they would be coming with me either dangerously though woods, or illegally on the path. Shiba Zejuko came up with the best option to have someone she knew legally fill out the paperwork; however it was though a crane. The current tensions I did not want to be seen conversing with him and charged Shiba Zejuko with the task of getting the papers filled out. While she did this I needed to meditate upon the actions I have taken, and the ones that lay before me crossing the countryside.
The travel was not very eventful, before entering scorpion territory we stopped at a little village where they were able to give what they could for our travels. As I know there is a drought I did try and compensate the village with one of the koku that Matsu Chokoku had supplied us with for provisions. While in the scorpion territory we were unusually stopped by a Shosurp Rei, the scorpion cannot be trusted, however her story with the missing stamped seemed to be correct. The only excitement on our travels was in Hare territory, as we came over a bend there was an ogre in combat with a man. The battle was swift. The ogre laid his weapon on the Hare, who we later learned was Usagi Ozaki. His resolve kept him alive while our Crane companion Doji Isoroku felled the ogre with one blow. I was impressed by the cranes ability, I’m glad he is on my side in this endeavor, but do wish that I could get the chance to duel him. Our other companions tended to Usagi Ozaki’s wounds while we packed and continued though Hare territory.
Upon reaching our destination we were greeted by wide eyed peasants who rushed to the castle and came out with who we were introduced to, the lord of the castle, Usagi Oda. We learned that the person we saved from the ogre was his son. I understand we were supposed to be discreet in our mission, however I believe we can no longer achieve this. For saving his son Usagi Oda threw us a banquet, again, we have not been un-noticed. Another thing that was noticed on our person was a sword sheath that the ogre was carrying and we collected, this turns out to be a Hare dynasty heirloom, Shiba Zejuko used her powers to help the Usagi clan to find where the sword could be, the shadow lands. Upon hearing this, Usagi Ozaki announced he would be going to find it, this is foolish as he has barley recovered from the ogre and now wishes to fight at the devils doorstep. Our party is able to do so and this creates a rare opportunity to complete our quest. I take it upon myself to let Usagi Oda know that we are in his lands to ask for his aid in finding an heirloom of our own, if he would help to locate ours we would help to locate his. Upon hearing the information of our lost heirloom I noticed Usagi Ozaki, and Usagi Tomoe getting nervous. After the banquet I decided to see Usagi Ozaki to see if I could get another read off of him. While I headed to see Usagi Ozaki, I was stopped by a Seiki, he wished to come with us to the shadow lands. I could sense that he had something to prove and just needed the situation, I empathized with this man as I to have something to prove to my father. I met with Usagi Ozaki in his chambers, I tried to get a little more out of him about the scroll, I noticed a dresser and wanted to confront the man. Before I could, I noticed the dresser again, the mirror above it and the scare on my face, an ever reminder of my duty, and my honor. I decided it could wait and did not want to make a scene, I bid Usagi Ozaki good night, and let him know we had a long journey ahead of us.
The next day we journeyed though Crab territory and got just to the great wall, I noticed my Crane companion egging on one of the guards at the wall, this same guard decided to make the mistake of insulting me as well. If it were not for Usagi Ozaki, there would have been a fight, one which I’m sure we would have come on top of. Doji Isoroku showed these uncouth Crabs the trophy we acquired while fighting an ogre and that put them in their place. This is the second time I’m happy to be with this Crane, and again wish to duel him to know him better, I was always told, you never know someone until you fight them. The guards that were at the gate were impressed with our trophy and as we were searching for jade they gave us what they had, 3 fingers of jade, this is not going to go well for us in the shadow lands, but I believe our resolve will hold though and we will complete our quest yet.
My name is Kitsu Busaru, at least I always thought it was. Growing up I always looked up to my brothers going through their gempukku. When it was time for me to start, I was not able to do so. My father, whom I looked up to all my life, told me I was adopted and wasn’t worth training. As I protested this, saying it was my gempukku and it was my right to serve, he gave me a scar across my eye to remind me that he could end me at any time, that I was not his. I wear this scar on my face as a badge, to remind myself to work harder, I will prove him that I am worth training, I will prove to him that I am worth keeping alive, I will prove that I am his son, I will prove that I am ‘Kitsu’ Busaru… This is what I always told myself, this is what I always thought. Today on the border of life and death, the Kaiu Wall and the Shadow lands of Fu Lang, I am tested today.
On our quest to find a scroll from the Kitsu clan, my group and I find ourselves on a side quest to help the Hare clan to find a relic that they lost and we have discovered are in a castle in the Shadow lands. We are escorted by Hida Sekau to our quarters where he explains that he is willing to help us if we allow a couple of his scouts to come along with us to scout the area. Having the help of the crab clan, supplies and knowledge is welcome. The only downside I can see is there are more bodies that could turn on each other in the lands of Fu Lang.
Life is funny in that is has many roads to follow, yet the path is changed delicately enough by the breath of the wind. My life today has met the wind of change by the drop of a letter. As we got ready to face the upcoming challenge I donned my armor an unknown letter wafted to the ground. I picked up and began to read. The letter in my hands told me of my birth as a scorpion, I have been brought up to not trust scorpion, but I do know that if there is a secret, they know it. This letter describes that if I wish to know more, I could find answers at Hayashi no Uragirimono and meet with my uncle.
My whole life I have been trying to prove to my father… not my father… the man who raised me, but not as his own… Who was my natural father? What was his legacy? Do I have any other family? What do I still have to prove to a man who doesn’t respect me? So many questions, too many questions, but what to do? I can’t leave my companions, as I have brought them on this quest to the Shadow lands. But would they do the same in my situation? We are not bonded; we do not owe each other anything. Honor… This is what drives me to stay, I am honor bound to finish this quest… but I wish to know more… I shall sleep on it, maybe the answer will come to me in my sleep.
The next morning I woke up with no answer. The scouts that are to accompany us have explained the journey ahead and explain if anyone wishes to bow out, now would be the time. Now is the time, the last chance I have to decide. I want to know of my past, of what lies I have been living, I must know who I am. I do feel remorse for what I am doing to my companions, but I will leave them with my rations and jade so that they may have a better chance in the shadow lands. They will no longer have me, but with the 4 others that have joined us since leaving I feel they have the chance they need to survive and be victorious. As we gather our things I decide this is the time I will take to leave, hopefully they will not see me leaving.