The mountain rose from the sea and Kasuga Kiyomi, pulling from her vast education, identified it as an Uzu-me-boshi. It was a troll shaman bound to an oni, and if they could defeat the troll inside, the vast creature would dissipate.
As the others steeled themselves for battle, Bayushi Mamoru escorted Kiyomi below decks as a non-combatant. Believing he would perish in this fight, he surprised her with a kiss before rushing back above. Seeing an opportunity, he climbed into the ship’s catapult.
Sanjuro Yuzuki dashed to the crow’s nest, firing off an arrow that seemed to have little effect on the beast. Sanjuro Tatsuya decided to take the direct route and dove in, swimming to the beast. Toritaka Hitomi, knowing she would be unable to swim in her heavy armor, tied herself to the mast with a long length of rope. Shiba Sagura attempted to climb the rigging, but got tangled.
The Uzu-me-boshi’s back began sparking and a wave of steam engulfed the ship, trying to cook them alive. Kasuga Tomo, the ship’s captain, launched Mamoru at the beast, a gleam in his eye. Yuzuki fired off another arrow, striking the beast, who barely noticed the tiny arrow. Mamoru landed on the chest, his blades digging deep in the creature’s flesh, just as his cousin Tatsuya reached the beast and started the long climb up.
Hitomi tried to reach out and strike the beast with her bisento, but between the distance and the ship’s movement, she was unable to strike it. The beast inhaled deeply, releasing a torrent of water of water onto the ship, cracking wood and nearly washing many of the sailors overboard. Sagura, frustrated with being tangled and inspired by Mamoru’s own flight at the beast, severed a taut rope holding him bound, flinging himself towards the beast. He landed very close to the eye and began stabbing.
Tomo, being the self-proclaimed ‘greatest sailor in Rokugan’, maneuvered around the beast and the Gaijin ship, getting closer, trying to avoid the steam and water jets. Toritaka Benkei, seeing the mast his daughter was tied to start to splinter and crack, wrapped his large arms around it, stabilizing it. The Tortoise sailors began quickly trying to repair and plug the holes in the boat, preventing it from swamping and sinking.
As they were finally close enough to the beast, Yuzuki set her bow down, taking up her meteor hammer, walking the short distance to the same shoulder Sagura was perched upon, swinging her hammer and knocking out one of the beast’s teeth.
Mamoru went to the other shoulder, reaching up with his obsidian weapon, this time in the shape of a scimitar, and popped the beasts eye, warm red liquid spilling out around him. The beast gave a mighty roar. Seeing his opening, Tatsuya jumped in the beasts mouth, surprised to be swimming in dark water and forcing his claustrophobia and an epileptic seizure away, swam downward to the beast’s belly.
Finally close enough to use her weapon, Hitomi sliced open the beast’s side, spilling light into the troll inside. Angry at the damage it had taken, the Uze-me-boshi clawed at Sagura and Yuzuki. She got out of the way but Sagura took the brunt of the damage and began to fall. Shaken, Yuzuki missed striking the beast with her meteor hammer.
Mamoru, seeing his cousin jump down the beast’s throat, quickly followed, just as Tatsuya struck at the troll inside. The beast roared and flailed, the cause of its pain not easily visible. Hitomi, acting out of instinct, reached forward just further than she could reach, snapping the rope holding her to the ship but catching Sagura and saving his life. He managed a quiet “Thank you” before passing out and being set on the deck.
The troll attacked Tatsuya, the beast moving to fight something no one else could see. Feeling a surge from the Void from somewhere, Tatsuya struck again, stabbing the troll. Tomo began steering the ship into the beast’s belly. Yuzuki and Hitomi continued to strike at the beast.
Mamoru, being a sneaky ninja, stabbed the troll from behind in surprise. The troll’s own defenses shocked Mamoru, rendering him unable to fight. The troll, ignoring the wounded Scorpion, instead struck at Tatsuya, almost slaying him. Tatsuya impaled the troll, killing it, getting shocked himself.
The enormous beast roared one final time before starting to fall apart and dissolve just as the ship hit its belly. Mamoru and Tatsuya were washed out of the belly through the cut Hitomi had made. She grabbed Sagura and Mamoru, preventing them from falling overboard. Tatsuya crashed into Benkei. Yuzuki calmly walked back into the crow’s nest, retrieving her bow.
The battle was won and the beast defeated, everyone tired, sore, and soaked.
The Gaijin ship, recovered from their battle with the beast, approached closer. Weary, everyone began to ready weapons for the next pending fight. Kiyomi assured them she could handle it and scrambled up the gangplank, barely hesitating, her father following. On board she met the ship’s captain, Edward Teach from Thrane.
Speaking strictly in Thane, Kiyomi directed the Gaijin away from the Imperial City and towards the Isles of Silk and Spice, specifically Honor’s Anchor. She portrayed herself as naïve, talkative, and not comprehending what she was manipulating him towards. He offered a gift of a cannon, which she had to reject, if only because her ‘companions’ would insist on its destruction. He then offered a gaijin cutlass and barrels of Rum, which she took, offering her old war fan in exchange. Tomo, proud at his daughter’s performance, left two of his sailors on board Teach’s ship.
Yang’s Honor limped to port for repairs. Sagura wrote a letter to the Fox Daimyo and sent it off ahead. Mamoru tried to get on Kakita Kiyo’s good side, with mixed success. Yuzuki, bored at being in port, went fishing and caught a whale.
Deciding not to kill it, she swam next to it to remove the embedded hook. A Ningyo, a Rokugani mermaid, swam up and thanked her, handing her a small pearl.
Kiyomi, watching the battle but not participating in it, told the story of the fight with the Uzu-me-boshi, mentioning everyone’s name but focusing on the deeds of the Minor Clans, especially Sanjuro Tatsuya. The well-spun tale has begun to spread across the empire already, and many now look with interest and some trepidation upon this newest generation…