A lot has happened since the Scions destroyed Ryo no Oni and built a temple over the spot. For starters, they all got married (or in Soshi Mika’s case, got divorced and re-married) and they all had kids. Some of them didn’t figure out what caused that fast enough, and so they had several kids.
So their kids all went riding off to the Topaz Tournament, which is really far away (several days’ ride at least). They all proved themselves worthy of their parents’ legends, managed to put down a little ronin uprising, and on the way home even managed to save a kidnapped priest from some would-be blood mages. Here is the breakdown from that tournament:
Sumo: Matsu, Iuchi, and Natsu each took a point
Heraldry: Iuchi took a point
Athletics: Koji, Matsu, Iuchi, and Natsu each took a point
Horsemanship: Koji, Iuchi, and Matsu each took a point
Etiquette: Koji, Matsu, Iuchi, and Natsu each took a point
Courtier: Koji, Matsu, Iuchi, and Natsu each took a point
Weapons: Matsu and Koji each took a point
Poetry: None of our heroes took a point
Go: Matsu, Koji, and Iuchi each took a point
Hunting: Natsu, Matsu, Koji, and Iuchi each took a point
Dueling: Matsu, Koji, and Iuchi each took a point
TOPAZ CHAMPION: Soshi Kojiko
On their way home from the tournament, they passed by the general of the blackened lion (I think…Brad may have to correct the who on this one), who was kindly towards them and fed them lunch from his own stores.
They also passed through a village whose Priest of Rice had been kidnapped. They agreed to help the village find their missing priest. Matsu’s jaguar was kind enough to assist Natsu in tracking down the assailants to a small compound outside the village. The heroes entered the compound and were confronted with the sight of 5 peasants surrounding the missing priest, who was tied up. One of the peasants was chanting and cutting himself, a sure sign that blood magic was in the works. The jaguar killed the leader (the one cutting himself), and the other three were subdued for questioning. Through questioning it was learned that the leader of the peasants had been speaking to a man in a room off to the side. The heroes opened the door to the room, but it was pitch black and empty. No windows, no doors, no hidden passages for someone to have escaped through. This bodes ill!! The four remaining peasants and the now-freed priest were brought back to the village, where the would-be blood mages were publicly executed.
They finally arrived in the City of Lies, and while attempting to seek passage on a barge for the remainder of their journey they were met by a Mantis Drunken Master who had been friendly with them during the tournament. He offered them discounted passage on his “friend’s” barge (turned out to be his barge). The heroes learned while on his barge that he wasn’t nearly as drunk as he pretended to be, and that he believed that being able to roll with the boat (as if one were drunk) assists when fighting river pirates.
Once the heroes were home safe and sound, Damiyo Soshi Mika cleared her courtroom and informed them that….DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUN! A monk had been kidnapped while they were gone.