The Scorpion's Sting
The Story So Far
It is 1118 and the reign of Emperor Hantei XXXVIII enters its seventeenth year. In the month of the Serpent, a border dispute flares between the Lion and Crane clans at the farming village Onagawa. A multi-clan delegation dispatched to mediate the conflict disappeared, supposed dead at the hands of local banditry. In Tsuma, the Topaz Championship is poised to begin, collecting the most promising prodigies from all Rokugan and hosting even the Emperor Himself.
A pair of Crane bushi and a Phoenix shugenja with her yojimbo were tasked by a Kakita lord to retrieve the swords of this multi-clan delegation. They traveled from Tsuma to the cave in Onagawa where the Scorpions, Dragon and Crane were supposedly lost, only to find darkness and ill tidings. The swords appeared cursed, repugnant even to the friendly fire kami of the Agasha girl. She attempted to seal the cave, but only evil spirits answered her prayers.
The next morning, the group awoke to the cries of battle. A peasant revolt had sprung up, overwhelming Matsu Akira and his men. The Crane and Phoenix would not take part in the bloodshed, but their pacifism cost the tenacious Lion his life. The Daidoji forces soon arrived to see what was the matter and reclaimed control of the city from the “rebellious heimin” by beheading the Matsu.
But the group knew the truth—they had reported back the strength of the Lion to Daidoji lord and he had drawn up the numbers to strike back. Worse, the Daidoji lord would not capture the Lion for ransom, instead sating his revenge with blood. The group returned to Tsuma with guilt hanging heavy in their hearts, and a sorrowful tune upon the biwa-player’s strings.
When they returned, the Daimyo Kakita Nori requested their assistance in spite of his son, Kakita Hiraku, the Magistrate of Tsuma. He showed them a mysterious tea brick depicting evidence of a so-called “Shinsei-do” cult. From there, they traveled to its purported source, Mura Sabishii Toshi, Lonely Shore City.