Legend of the Five Rings: Accursed Destiny

Session 18 - In the End, Our Choices Make Us

Deciding to press on immediately rather than stay and rest after their arduous battles, the exhausted party set out. Taking the Imperial Road toward Kyuden Miya ensured swift travel, and they made camp less than a day away from the home of the Imperial Herald. That night, Bayushi Mamoru returned to the party in his merchant disguise, pursued by minions of the Shadow Dragon. When Sanjuro Tatsuya and his companions proved more than capable of defending themselves, even half-asleep, the ninja withdrew.

The entire week he was gone, Mamoru killed agents and minions of the former Lying Darkness.  They took exception to that.

Sanjuro Yuzuki took watch as the others tried to bed down for a little more rest. Deprived of anything interesting to do, the former Spirit of Meido entertained herself by using her new nemuranai to fish. After almost an hour of patient waiting and a mighty heave, the Mongoose diplomat landed… the kami of the river itself.

Forsaking yet another night’s rest, the party hurried to Kyuden Miya, convincing the gate guards to let them in despite their suspicions of this ‘ronin band’. Early-risen townsfolk merrily gossiped over the birth of the Miya Daimyo’s heir, a boy: every time it was mentioned, Sagura’s mood became more dour. Tatsuya and Yuzuki shed their disguises, the Dragon’s hostage longing to see family after so long and Yuzuki eager to speak with her long-time friend. Only Kasuga Kiyomi took the time to count the months that had passed: seven since the marriage between Daichiko and the Imperial Herald, not the nine expected from a blessed marriage.

Miya Byakuya

That didn’t stop her from wanting to be the first to hold the tiny, adorable bundle.

Following the example set by the Mongoose, everyone save Mamoru removed their ronin attire and greeted the Daimyo and his wife as friends and family. The Scorpion wandered the town as a merchant, picking through rumor and gossip before presenting himself at the celebratory feast.

Only the Phoenix remained morose. That child was his, to his mind, and the dishonor of his actions weighed heavily upon his mind.

He sought an audience with his former lover, and Daichiko granted it after meeting with Yuzuki and Tatsuya. The Miya Lady and the Phoenix Heir discussed the child, her life, and their past relationship. Sagura claimed that they should reveal the child’s true heritage, lest this new life be tainted by dishonor. Daichiko held that in the eyes of the Empire, no matter what else, the child was Lord Miya’s: her son would not be haunted by her past.

Sagura turned to sake for comfort, and later his friends for advice. Due to the Phoenix’s profoundly ill-chosen and drunken words, his request for aid was rewarded by a sound drubbing from Mamoru, a sharp word from Kiyomi, more sake from Yuzuki, and quiet support from Tatsuya. On advice from the Spirit of Honor, Sagura sent a letter to his lord and father detailing his crime, asking for judgement.

Tactless words to Kiyo, Kiyomi, and Toshiro, a looming hangover, and the final repercussions of his choice seven months ago combined to hound the young blademaster’s thoughts as he gazed up at the stars that night.

Everyone rested, awaiting what the morning would bring.

Comments

Baka! Sagura-san is such a baka! I understand, considering his background, that honor is important to him. However, I would have figured he would have learned to adapt at least a little bit considering he affiliates himself with a Scorpion and several minor clan members. Is honor important? Yes, but one’s view of honor is varied so it is difficult to determine where it all fits to one’s personal duties.

As a Scorpion, honor is important to us, but we also sometimes have to sacrifice our honor for the greater good, which to us, is honorable.

As much as I hate to admit, even the Crab has similarities compared to us in that fashion. They will sacrifice their honor in order to achieve absolute victory against their foes, particularly against the forces of Shadow and Darkness. To them, gaining victory and glory through sometimes dubious means is honorable enough to them.

The other major clans tend to be…more stringent than the rest of us in my opinion concerning honor; but only because they have the luxury to do so. I’m sure in order to do what is best for the Empire, every man or woman is willing to sacrifice a bit of their own honor…that is except for Sagura. Oh, if he only knew that I already knew of his dirty little secret. Did I ever expose it? I guess any Scorpion could have exploited it, but at what cost?

I do pity the man. No man would ever want to lose his love and believed-to-be-legitimate child to another man and have to hide that secret all to his self. However he frustrated me when he began wallowing in his own self-pity worrying about his honor. In my eyes, the “honorable” thing to do would be to move on and do what tasks I have ahead of me. Would it be easy? No. But what choice does Sagura have? He considers me a friend, I must admit, the Phoenix has grown on me a bit. Other than Tatsuya-san, none of the others have really accepted me considering my clan affiliation except him. So, in order to snap him out of it, I did what I thought was best for him…a tough-loving lesson. Whether anything I said or did sunk in, I do not know. I only pray that he comes around so we can focus on what is more important.

FriendOlsen

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