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The Emerald Magistrates return to Ryoko Owari and find themselves in grave circumstances. They have been charged with numerous violations of their Imperial Charter – including job abandonment – and find the Scorpion families arrayed against them, down to the Imperial Governor of the city.

It began, it seems, when one of the Bayushi opium warehouses (legal opium warehouses) was destroyed by the bandit, Fade. The Bayushi requested the assistance for the Emerald Magistrates, as the charter to grow and harvest opium was one granted by the Emperor himself. The Magistrates, of course, could not be found. “Off at a haiku contest,” replied a servant. From there, it got worse. The Master shall, in a rare display, skip past the detailed list incidents. As a side note to all players of Emerald Magistrates in Ryoko Owari Toshi and everywhere in between: read, learn, and live your Charter…

The crimes and political forces aligned against the Magistrates are such that the Emerald Champion himself must arrive to mete out their fate. Doji Satsume is angered and denies all the Magistrates sepukku (which they all ask permission to commit) – except that of Shinjo Mariko, the leader of the Emerald Magistrates in Ryoko Owari. Hers Doji Satsume accepts, allowing the dishonor of failure and shame to be erased. Satsume-sama is distrubing at having to grant the death of a personal friends valliant daughter; he allows her to journey to her homeland first, to commit the deed there. The others are dismissed from Imperial Service, to return to their families. “Since those beneath you,” declares the Emerald Champion, “perhaps they would be best for your former position.” The Emerald Magistrate then makes Bayushi Sugai and Mirumoto Kunto the new Emerald Magistrates of Ryoko Owari, partially appeasing the riles Scorpion.

During his private interviews with the various accused and witnesses beforehand, Doji Satsume listened to the moving speech by Daidoji Yosai, who pleaded his kinsman to recognize the Scorpion trap for what it was. “Of course it is a trap, Yosai-san. And,” added the Emerald Champion, “domo arigato gozaimisu for pulling me into it.”

The Heroes set off, informed to be out of Ryoko Owari within two days. From the highlands to the east, they are approached by a child messenger, who presents Mirumoto Shuzento, Isawa Ikahashi, Isawa Jito, and Daidoji Yosai with strange, oil paper scrolls, each bearing the seal of the office of the Emerald Champion. The Daidoji, oddly enough, produces a large scroll case and asks to hold the scrolls for safekeeping, per the request of Doji Satsume himself. The heroes relent, and Daidoji Yosai explains their new position as “secret” magistrates and investigators for the office of the Emerald Champion. The secrecy must, of course, be kept at all costs.

No one was aware that the 38th Hantei Emperor had secretly decided to meet with his Emerald Champion. And so, no one knew that the Emperor was on board the Emerald Champion’s war barge as it sailed out of juristiction of Ryoko Owari Toshi, the City of Green Walls.
Until, mysteriously enough, the Imperial Flag was raised on the barge, indicating the Hantei’s presence.

Far away, the Heroes make note of the distant emerald flag.

Then, the barge explodes. Half of the craft is consumed in a horrible, fiery explosion which leaves a black clot of smoke like a stain in the wind. The fragile remains quickly sink beneath the deep river. There are no survivors.

The Heroes fight their initial desire to charge down to “save” the Emerald Champion, but realize the futility of that thought. Instead, they turn and ride hard, making for Benden Pass. The sooner to arrive at the House of the Plum Gardens – some land they can call their own and “safe” – the better.

~ End Season One of Thunder in the Sky ~

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

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