Session 2 of Kento’s story and our first full-length one! We do a quick recap of what happened in our last session and dive back into it. Kento wants to determine if he knows something he can use against Koji Kohaku. I called for a Beginner’s Luck Koji-wise test, and he managed to make it. I kind of had a picture in my head about what Kohaku was like, so I laid it out for Blaine. Kohaku is an honorable man, perhaps to his own determent, Kento might be able to leverage that.
He goes into the Magistrate’s office and demands that Ichiro be turned into his custody, claiming he is wanted for several serious offenses in Yabe territory and that the Yabe Clan-chief has the greatest claim to him. He completely botches the falsehood check, and can tell that Kohaku does not believe him in the slightest. Kohaku will not publicly question a fellow Samurai’s honor, yet, with all that he knows, the pieces of the puzzle are sliding into place.
He releases Ichiro into Kento’s custody, and “generously” offers some of his men to escort Kento and Ichiro to the edge of Koji lands. Ichiro asks about his wares, but Kento can’t secure too much more than his cart for a “wanted criminal”. On the way back he tries to question Ichiro and Kasumi, but Ichiro knows nothing and Kasumi doesn’t really want to talk business in front of her husband. Still, she assures him that his uncle will get what he paid for.
Kento’s uncle eventually sends for him, and asks him for his accounting of the events. He’s not entirely pleased with how things turned out, but he seems to have gotten at least some useful information. Kento asks him what was in that ledger, and Tengan Tennak simply tells him he can go.
We take a look at Kento’s beliefs at this point. He honestly has some decent ones about killing his uncle and taking power for himself, but they were lacking in immediate action, unless he wanted to ride out and assault his uncle’s holding then and there (which would have been sweet, but probably futile). It wasn’t a huge deal, because I had another task in mind from Tengan Tennak for us to cut to, but it was something that was worth calling attention to.
A week goes by, and we are once again in Tengan Tennak’s tea room. As I had been describing it every time these two men met in there, only once the tea had been served and the maids had left does Tengan Tennak get down to business. He says it has been decided (and the tone implies not by him), that one of his granddaughters, Yabe Nana will be getting married. The Groom being Hirafune Yuuki, Kento’s cousin and Koan’s son and heir. Tradition mandates that the head of the Hirafune be married to a Yabe, and Nana’s marriage to Yuuki would further legitimize Koan’s line of succession.
Tengan Tennak asks nothing of Kento during this meeting, merely saying he wanted him to be one of the first to know. He happens to point out that if something were to happen to the bridal procession, say, in Hirafune territory, he knows Nana has friends in the Imperial City. If she were to flee there for her safety, she would be out of Koan’s reach. He then spends the rest of the meeting talking about how they grow up so fast, and things of that nature.
Kento wants to circle up a mercenary, a disgraced Bushi. I set the obstacle at 3 (1 base, +1 lower station, +1 time requirement, having to be ready to go before the Bridal Procession), unfortunately, his circles is only B2. He manages a linked test and throws a point of Persona into the roll, and all come up successes! He names this guy Iha Yasuro, a bushi from a family that sided against Koan during the coup. He greets Kento as a friend and they drink together as they discuss business.
He can get 5 guys ready to go, and he’ll cut Kento a deal. He’ll do it for 50 (we realize we aren’t really sure of the proper units of currency, but we call it an ob 3 resources test). Kento wants to work carefully, taking time to try and get all the money together… And still fails. I tax him down to a B1 resources, but I do give him the gift of kindness. Still it doesn’t give Iha much time to get the group together, and they are rushing to catch up to the procession as they leave.
I rule that they manage to get ahead of them, barely, but don’t have enough time to find a particularly good spot for an ambush. Kento tests Warcraft to try to make the best of it, and manages to succeed, using himself as a decoy while the mercenaries get into position. He stands in the middle of the road and acts as a bandit, while the honor guards draw their bows. He rushes them and we come to a Bloody Vs. I give him advantage dice for the ambush but I give the enemy a few as well (Numbers, longer weapons, horses). The guards manage to win, and so while I say Kento manages to get a few of them, the rest, including Nana’s carriage, manage to speed through and take off down the road.
It turns out Blaine forgot to factor in Kento’s armor into his defensive roll for the BV, so I let him roll it to negate the arrow that hit him, which he manages to pass, although his armor is damaged as a result. He rolls a wise to try and discover where that procession will stop next, success leads him to a small village. The town is on alert and so he has the mercenaries pull some of the local militia away and use the distraction to sneak in. Success gets him to the window to the room where Nana is staying.
He is wearing a mask, so Nana is frightened by him at first, but he pulls it off and convinces her to tell the guards it was nothing. He says he is here to rescue her, and she is rather confused by that. Apparently she was not in on this whole plan. He tries to convince her that Yuuki is basically the devil, and can not make that untrained persuasion check. She says she doesn’t really get all that political stuff between Kento and her Grandfather, but she knows she could do a lot worse than the wife of the next clan chief. Kento then tells her she can come willingly or he will take her anyway and give her to bandits, geez! He’s actually trained in intimidation so he manages to scare her into silence.
I decide that now having a hostage in tow that would betray him at the first opportunity she thought would be successful is enough of a change in the situation that his first stealth test to get into the village no longer rode. He weighs his options, but he is mostly looking at a hefty obstacle penalty either way. When that penalty is factored into the guard’s observation he ends up looking at obstacle 5. Though some miracle and I think the last of his artha he manages to make it and meets up with his mercenaries outside of the village. I roll a die of fate for them to see if they took losses, and they didn’t.
Kento takes Nana down river and they meet with an underling of Sone Baba, Kento’s relationship among the river pirates. He pens a letter to his relative in the capital asking them to ensure Nana got to Tengan Tennak’s friends and called it good. Now, I had assumed that Kento would be going along on this boat trip and knew that they would encounter trouble along the way. So when the pirates asked for payment and he failed to properly assure them they would be paid later, I knew exactly what would be the result of that low morale.
Kento returns to the Yabe estate to rest up and determine his next act of sabotage against his uncle. A little while later, a letter from Sone Baba arrives, informing him that, as far as Sone Baba can tell, a rival group of pirates attacked the ship. Several of his men have been slain, and Nana is no where to be found.
We call it there and do Artha, this time a few persona and a few fate are handed around and it is a somewhat decent haul. We forgot to do situational Honor and Shame tests, (and I think Kento may have earned a few of the latter), but we’ll pick them up next time. We’re still finding our rhythm with these two games, but I honestly think they’ve been going pretty well and we are on track to get even better! It’s back to Maxim next week, and then after that we will deal with the fallout of Nana’s abduction.