Kobayashi Maru

Newly arrived in Ryoko Owari, the Magistrates begin to discover the city’s uniqueness. No sooner than a few days pass than the Thunder Guards of Oni’s Teeth Gate request the Magistrates inspect some suspicious papers. The Crab possessor claims that they were signed by an Emerald Magistrate

The Magistrates declare the papers a fraud and arrest the man. Turning him over to the local Thunder Guard for imprisonment, they attend to other matters

The Magistrates are met the following morning by an unannounced visitor – Shosuro Rei, a senior Emerald Magistrate and their former sponsor. Shosuro Rei engages the group in an odd turn of conversation and veiled criticism. When asked to explain herself, she shrugs and merely notes that for an example, they should retrieve their prisoner.

“That,” notes Mariko Shinjo, “was where we were going before you asked to speak with us…”.

The Magistrates journey to the Oni’s Gate guardhouse, wherein Isawa Jito investigates. After nearly the lesser part of the hour, he returns – pale and disgusted – with confirmation that there is no Crab prisoner – no records, no prisoner, no memory… With Jito-san comes an enormously fat ronin warrior (“Ample”), who Jito has released from prison and offered employment.

When the Magistrates return, they are shocked to find Shosuro Rei lying dead in a pool of her own blood in the center of the zen sand garden. No tracks, murder weapon, or clues are to be found. The servants and guards heard and saw nothing. Further investigation shows that Mirumoto Kunto’s appears to be covered in Rei’s blood. That Kunto could have killed her, however, is impossible as he never left their sight.

In the end, the mystery is explained by a reappeared – and wholly alive – Shosuro Rei. She curtly criticizes their efforts and reactions to the apparent death of another Emerald Magistrate. Cutting their reaction to the quick, she quickly shows them that their reaction – especially the choice to alert the Shosuro Imperial Governor of the city – would have led to some or all of their deaths – and failure. Other options would have failed equally. The situation was a Kobayashi Maru – a no-win situation – given most frequently to Scorpions. She leaves them with the advice to be very wary and less trusting, and a sour taste in several of the Magistrates mouths.

(based in the City of Lies, by AEG, Inc.)

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