Leaving the forest and hills behind them, the party proceeded to Sparrow Clan lands – more specifically, the lands of Suzume Sakan, one of Oharu’s cousins.
Sakan was glad to see them, and thanked Oharu for her gift – and expressed puzzlement at seeing her up and about so soon after her recent illness.
The gift in question was revealed to be a duelling blade – an old one, with Crane clan markings and a very dark blade.
Sakan refused to let go of the blade at any point, even during dinner. He spoke of being proud of his Crane ancestry, and was seen studying a centuries-old Crane duelling manual.
And he’d painted the house’s trim in Crane Blue.
And then he began mis-hearing pretty much everything Daredemo said as an insult, regardless of what Daredemo had actully said.
He challenged Daredemo to a duel – to happen the next day after breakfast in the dojo.
That night, Fukurokuma planned to slip into Sakan’s room and steal the sword as he slept, thereby cleansing any influence the sword might have had over him. This was foiled by Sakan’s not sleeping that night.
The duel itself was anticlimactic. Daredemo struck true and disarmed Sakan with minimal injury.
OOC Note: Because Aaron rolled really well and Eric didn’t.
Following that, Fukurokuma picked up the sword. Even with a protective layer of cloth between hand and sword, he heard angry bees in his head. He and Chaya continued on to a nearby town, where they had a smith capable of melting the sword down.
The sword itself was the creation of a smith who had bled during its creation, turning the rituals involved with the creation of the blade into a form of accidental maho.
The remainder of the journey to Clear Water Village with the caravan was uneventful.