The party’s morning began when a party of Crab soldiers arrived at the inn to escort the party to the Governor. They were there to take Iuchi Chaya, but when they learned that the party was traveling together, the rest of the party was “invited” along.
When they arrived at the Governor’s palace, the party was not disarmed and was (after a wait) escorted to meet her. She was gruff, officious, and not particularly friendly – but she did deliver a piece of mail that had arrived for Chaya.
“How is it,” she asked, “that you merit an express courier when my regular monthly courier from ”/wikis/otosan-uchi" class=“wiki-page-link”> Otosan Uchi has yet to arrive?"
When asked about Itachi, she explained that he was nothing. A non-issue. And he would be dealt with at the proper time.
After the governor released them, the party split up.
Daredemo went first to a Dragon-owned warehouse, where Sakura Kaizoku welcomed him. They chatted for a bit, and Daredemo learned that Itachi would send messengers to collect “his” percentage. “We do not pay,” Kaizoku said, “And so we must bring in extra guards, making it less profitable for us to be here.”
Daredemo’s next stop was a Lion-owned warehouse two doors down that had been attacked the previous night. There was a broken window and some smoke damage visible from the street. The Lions were searching incoming shipments and were very obviously out in force. There, Daredemo met with an elderly Lion (Akodo Osoroshi) who was able to give him a little bit of information about Itachi’s dealings as well. His sentiments mirrored those of Sakura Kaizoku.
Meanwhile, Fukurokuma went to the home of Itachi. He sat outside for a few hours before sending a messenger in with a request to meet. His request was approved, and he was invited inside. He was taken to a dark room where he spoke with a man on the other side of a screen before he was escorted out.
Back at the Inn, Doji Yopparai decided to make nice with Oharu while Chaya meditated. It turns out that Yopparai was drinking sake that he himself had brewed. It was, in fact, the best of his sake. And it was quite good. Yopparai had done reasonably well as a brewer. Most of his sake had reached the status of Junmai Ginjō-shu (which is judged by the Imperial Sake Licensing Group). He seemed quite proud of this particular accomplishment.
The keg he had been drinking from was the last of what he brought from home. He had been ambushed on the way and most of his stock was taken by bandits. “This isn’t a good town for refined sake,” he complained. “The Mantis all drink Awamori, and the Crab can’t tell good from bad.” He complained further that he thinks the Mantis are trading outside of Rokugan, and if true, the non-Rokugani have little hope of being able to appreciate the subtlety of fine sake such as his. “But the letter,” he said, “was so enticing.”
It turns out that he had been invited to bring his sake here to sell. That’s the only reason he came this far west.
He offered to sell his remaining keg at a “good price” to Oharu, and then quoted a price that seemed high.
On hearing this, Oharu grabbed Chaya. “I think,” she said, “We need to buy this sake.” Chaya agreed, and they split the cost.
Chaya then communed with the water in the sake, and saw only masks. When she used an artifact that was a gift from her grandmother, the masks were made of flesh and then melted. Upon seeing this, she grabbed her horse and rode after Goso, asking him to deliver a letter to the Unicorn outpost in Otosan Uchi for her.