Notable Events - Spider Clan
Daigotsu Atsushi wrote:
The Tortoise and the Spider
Kasuga Aizawa attracted the ire of the Spider Clan at Winter Court after an exchange of insults with Daigotsu Atsushi during the Winding Water Banquet. Atsushi insulted the Tortoise Clan, which Aizawa publicly claimed as an insult against the Empress herself. The Tortoise Clan ambassador reached out to the Emerald Magistrates, demanding Atsushi’s seppuku for this. At the conclusion of their investigation, a matter which Susumu Kuroko took a personal interest in, Aizawa was told that Atsushi’s insults were not directed at the Empress, but solely the Tortoise Clan. If he wished to defend his honor with a duel, he may challenge Atsushi. Since he demanded a seppuku, only death would suffice.
Aizawa was promoted shortly thereafter to Crab Clan karo in court. During the Spider Clan petition for the recognition of the Gyushi family, Aizawa implied they were survivors of the purged Chuda family. For this insult, he was challenged in a duel to the death by Daigotsu Kurogane, the Spider Clan karo. This was a duel that Kurogane sadly lost, falling before the blade of Hiruma Tetsuya. With that duel out of the way, Aizawa sent his letter of challenge to Daigotsu Atsushi, choosing Yasuki Kyoko as his champion. Atsushi accepted the challenge, and arrived at the dueling ground eager for the fight.
The match between Kyoko and Atsushi was bloody and brief. A kharmic strike left Atsushi only slightly injured, and he quickly cut down the Phoenix-trained Crab. Aizawa committed seppuku as a result.
Daigotsu Geiko wrote:
Against our own darkness
The worst enemy is the enemy inside. For most of this court, the Spider have been fighting their own demons.
First, the Darkness. The Spider allied themselves with the Scorpion
to fight its minions. Daigotsu Mori, a pure human trained in the old Goju ways, even lobbied for the Obsidian Magistrates to be cut of the Shadow's influence once for all
, blade in hand.
Next, the Taint. A difficult subject to say the least, source of many internal clashes, and even one on the Dais
, which ended with Mori being exiled for having publicly advocated Jigoku. Despite their higher-ups' reluctance, a determined anti-Taint faction nonetheless rose from withing the clan.Gyushi Kageto swore to keep the Taint away of his family forever
, as did Daigotsu Kurogane's father-in-law.Daigotsu Geiko advocated for the creation of a unit inside the Spider proper dedicated to pursue evil users of the Dark Power.
Which ended in many teeth grinding, but also in a lot of outside support
. And no explicit clan rebuttal. Yet.
And from Geiko's researches
and Daigotsu Tsubaki's experience
, it appears the ascension of Daigotsu and the Dark Fortunes eased the process allowing for one to be purged of the Taint, their divine will bending the old and new rules.
Maybe this is a game from the Dark Lord, a simple trick to make the corruption look less harmful.
But it may also be a beacon of hope. For the Spider. For the Empire.
Daigotsu Kurogane wrote:
The Grim Servant of Death
Having challenged Kasuga Aizawa to a duel to the death, Daigotsu Kurogane sought simple blessings for his swords. As it would be improper to have an outsider perform the blessings, he approached Daigotsu No Gyushi Kageto at his forge on a cold winter night. The beginning of the blessings were typical, calls to the kami of the swords to stand fast and calls to the fortunes to protect and guide. However, someone else was watching that night and He was none too happy to have been left out. The room grew even colder, and a thick grey mist heralded the approach of Emma-O, Fortune of Death. The fortune was disappointed in these prayers, disappointed in the supplicants, and demanded his rightful due from the two Spider.
Gyushi Kageto offered his craftsmanship to the Fortune, swearing that all weapons forged by the smith and his descendants would bear the mark of Emma-O. This pleased the Fortune, and he turned to Daigotsu Kurogane. The monk had no craftsmanship to give, and so he gave the only thing worthy of the fortune. His service, eternal. Should Kurogane succeed in serving the fortune, his descendants would bear the blessings of Meido and Emma-O. But should he fail, the fortune would take every last one of them as his own after death.
Kurogane died in the fateful duel, but he yet serves in Meido. He will not fail, for the sake of his son and all those that come after.
Daigotsu Tsubaki wrote:
The Black Camellia Before the Dark Lord
On the evening of the Devil’s chase, Daigotsu Tsubaki
had been one of the many souls who fought the oni that rampaged through the streets of the Imperial Capital. Courageous beyond measure, she literally chased the Devil
through the streets with 20 Spider warriors at her command. She also held the Damning Knowledge that allowed one to end a threat of Jigoku at the singular cost of their own soul. But a mere moment from the strike that would end the creature’s menace, and herself, Toku Saiga beat her to it, sparing all and sending his own soul to the Jealous Realm.Tsubaki was at once terrified
at the prospect that her friend was damned. She thought her own soul was the one best prepared to resist Jigoku’s power and the belief flooded her with guilt. She ran to the Temple of Dark Fortunes and begged Daigotsu to spare Saiga the wrath of his realm. Treading the path of both bushido and shourido, Tsubaki gathers her will, recalls her knowledge and appeals to Daigotsu’s compassion
for those who dared to be more than what The Celestial Order dictated them. Daigotsu grants her request under the caveat that she must sacrifice another soul to the jealous realm in Saiga’s place or else be claimed herself. She is granted no choice.
Tsubaki later recounts the story to Kuroko
and the other delegates
. Geiko is briefly tempted to settle her curse with violence
, but after some persuading, grants her assistance instead.
Gyushi Kageto wrote:
The Growth of the Gyushi Family
At the beginning of court one of the major desires of the Spider delegation was raising the status and glory of their new nominally untainted shugenja family, the Gyushi vassal family of the Daigotsu. The earliest victory on this track was having Gyushi Kageto a member of their delegation as a suitor for Tamori Touya. Despite the odds he won the heart of the Dragon shugenja.
Susumu Naishi took the idea one step further during a treaty negotiation with the Unicorn Clan, asking for a single shugenja to join the Gyushi family as a sign of support. Ide Doburu increased this to a dozen Meishodo-trained Unicorns. With this outpouring of support from their allies the Spider delegation used their second petition to ask the court for the Gyushi to be formally recognized as a great family within the Spider. This drew a great deal of ire from the Crab delegation, resulting in a duel between the two delegations’s Karo.
Hearing on that day the outpouring of support from the Unicorn spured the Dragon clan to not only match the Unicorns offer but formerly announce the marriage between Kageto and Tamori Touya. Not wishing to be left out the Mantis clan promised some marriages as well. Sadly the Gyushi were not recognized that day, but the Regent herself conceded that Gyushi would create a sword for the next Emperor and the position of an Imperial Armorer to the Gyushi family.
Susumu Asina wrote:
Asina and the Oni
Susumu Asina was part of the luring out of the Oni on top of the Temple of the Seven Fortunes. She sang the words from the Devil’s chase song with Susumu Yuna surrounded by shugenja. She prayed to her lords and the dark fortunes and was one of the first to realize what would stop the beast.
Realizing what would halt it, she shouted it loud and clear and then explained clearer to Toku Saiga. Saiga then read through Kurogane’s book, accepting the Oni. Asina had read the same words and was about to do so herself. Instead, she had to turn and kill her friend. Both this and the forceful blow from the event made her cry openly on the rooftop and her eyes go red for the rest of the day with the anger and sorrow she felt.
Asina then tried to speak with Iweko Miaka about Saiga, but the Miharu ordered everyone away. At this point, she went to the streets and found Doji Yukihiro. Together, they went back to the rooftop with eta and removed Saiga’s body and Kurogane’s book. They took Saiga back to the Embassy, where she decapitated Saiga and had his body burned. The others of her delegation joined her later and Bayushi Norimassa toasted to Saiga. Saiga was declared Daigotsu Saiga at the cremation and Asina learned of Tsubaki’s deal with the Dark Fortunes. Tsubaki stayed comforting Asina, until Asina left for the Crane embassy with Yukihiro, where they stayed the night.
Susumu Mizuki wrote:
Susumu Mizuki and Yoritomo Kyoju worked out a deal which would result in East Hub Village along with a number of trading ships to be transferred into the Spider under his command as Governor and admiral. Kyoju requested Mizuki as his bride.
Unfortunately, Mizuki had recently made contact with her first love, Mirumoto Shou, whom she had long ago broken ties with. Shou turned to his own clan nakado and requested to marry Mizuki as well, tied to the offer of hakanai. To provide Mizuki options and preserve both deals, Susumu Naishi worded each trade pact to feature Daigotsu Tsubaki as an alternative betrothal. During the final negotiations of the Mantis deal, Kyoju determined he would rather have the more fearsome Daigotsu name, and asked to marry Tsubaki instead. A livid Mizuki managed to work her way back into the deal hours before the treaty was presented before the court.
Shou challenged for her hand, but backed down after Kyoju intimidated him, insulting Niten in the process. The Dragon in turn demanded a death duel against Kyoju for the insult, which was denied by the Mantis ambassador. Instead, Kyoju’s second child was offered to be raised by the Mirumoto. Tsubaki also challenged Mizuki for the right to wed Kyoju, ultimately losing.
Mizuki tired of Kyoju’s conniving, and permitted her current lover Doji Minoru to challenge successfully for her hand. Kyoju would marry Tsubaki and Minoru would marry Mizuki, gaining the Spider Clan a city, a fleet, and two prominent samurai.
Susumu Naishi wrote:
Susumu Naishi versus the Kolat
Susumu Naishi had been selected to attend the Winter Court by Susumu Kuroko for her knowledge of the Kolat conspiracy. Naishi’s father had been a member, and his murder had led to her discovery of the conspiracy. During court, Naishi quickly reconnected with Kitsuki Miroken, the magistrate who had investigated her father’s death and inspired her fascination with the Kitsuki Method. Naishi also befriended Kakita Ichigiku, who had been a fan of her novels. With the assistance of Susumu Mizuki, Yoritomo Mikaru, and the ronin Fukumiwarai, Naishi had investigated a series of accidents in the marketplace with ties to the conspiracy.
Feeling presence of her enemy, Naishi took steps to protect her son, Susumu Nori, from their influence. She gave a book containing all her knowledge on the conspiracy to Ichigiku and arranged with Miroken for her son to be fostered to the Dragon. Naishi was summoned by Mikaru to the Imperial Library the night of the fire, and helped Bayushi Norimasa defeat the shugenja responsible. Doing so revealed Fukumiwarai as a sleeper agent, and Naishi revealed her own knowledge of the conspiracy. The Scorpion monk Ifedayo later confronted Naishi in private after learning of this, and Naishi agreed to aid his efforts in stopping the conspiracy.
Naishi and Miroken were present during the assassination attempt on the Voice, and Miroken died saving Naishi’s life. Naishi escaped the collapsing warehouse only to be captured herself. Her captor was revealed as Soshi Kaoku, who allied with Naishi to infiltrate the Kolat.
Susumu Takada wrote:
The Spider Clan and Otosan Uchi
Takada’s personal objective this season was claiming mainland holdings for the Spider. Though seemingly impossible, Takada set his sights on the cursed city of Otosan Uchi. After the Kasuga talked himself into a position where he admitted his clan had failed in their duty there, Takada sprang into action.
He approached each of the Delegation Heads he considered allies. His initial push gathered surprising support, with each willing to consider Spider stewardship of the area, under certain conditions. The biggest coup came from the Imperials, who agreed to present such a petition, with their endorsement to the court. Then, overnight, everything changed. Perhaps Takada had underestimated the gossip of the court, perhaps he had failed to intercept the movements of an enemy, or perhaps a voice from the heavens reminded everyone what Otosan Uchi meant to the Empire. He found resistance where there was none previously and the goal started to slip away from the Spider.
The Clan altered their approach. Taking Otosan Uchi would be a long term goal. Instead, Naishi completed a treaty securing East Hub Village, and from that foothold the Spider worked towards a petition that would have them attempt to cleanse the former Capitol of its curse. It is unknown if such is possible, but they alone among the Great Clans are comfortable living in such a tainted place. For now let the Clans become accustomed to a Spider presence while they combat the darkness there. The city will one day belong to the Spider.
Toku Saiga wrote:
The Jigoku Spiritual Incursion and Saiga's Sacrifice
Toku Saiga wished truly to become a member of the Spider Clan, and was willing to do anything to achieve it. What nobody expected was for this to be paved by an oni.
During the Devil’s Chase at the end of the Winter Court, an oni appeared and attacked the Imperial Princess. The samurai of Rokugan defeated the monster, but it would not stay dead. What they were not aware of was the Oni carried a tie to Jigoku itself within it, restoring it to full strength every time it would be destroyed. If it was not stopped, it would form a fresh Festering Pit to Jigoku.
Warned that trouble was coming by Kuni Tomokazu, Saiga tried reading Daigotsu Kurogane’s journal to try to understand what was happening. Saiga’s ambition and despair reached Kurogane’s spirit in Emma-O’s service, and Saiga learned of the oni’s tie to Jigoku. Saiga learned he could bind the incursion to a living vessel, ending the incursion with the vessel’s death and rendering the oni killable. Uncaring of the specifics, Saiga performed the ritual on himself, damning his soul in the process. With the spiritual incursion bound to his body and soul, Saiga prayed to Daigotsu as he was cut down by Seppun Teshan and Susumu Asina. In death, Saiga prayed to save Toshi Ranbo and be accepted as a Spider.