The guests are as varied as the Empire. A Crab from the sultry south, Cranes sweeping up the southern road while a Moto and a Scorpion ride in together from across the plains the Unicorn call home. A clutch of Dragon samurai guests peering warily at Last Light keep.
The wedding between the Mirumoto and the Shosuro is in a few days, and the banner men are proud, and will let no stone go unwashed. Food offerings filter in from the villages of the Western District, small careful notes of congratulations, prayers and handmade objects attached to the bundles of vegetables or carefully twined into the manes of feisty goats.
The kitchen staff is keeping up with the guests, but only just.
Samurai put on their calmest and most friendly faces as the courtyard grows crowded. Friendly jests, footraces up nearby mountains and even a few swimming contests in a nearby quarry are common entertainment, as is the bokken sparring under the shadow of the gateway.
The PCs gather. Hida Nakamuro arrives bearing gifts, fiery shoju whiskey in two cast casks carried by weary porters, a bale of exotically smoked buckwheat noodles in a sack. His armor is newer, trimmed with gilded bands and he looks… prosperous.
The brother of Osano-Wo, Poison Flower, follows him into the compound with a few simple belongings and a sack of jade petal tea. He appears subdued.
All guests are given a sincere and friendly welcome by the bride-to-be herself, with her maid Maemae hovering attentively to help shepherd them to their quarters and answer any questions.
The first night, the southern-brewed spirits brought as a gift manage to subdue most of the guests, those that dared imbibe them. An unsteady Yonaka walks carefully off of the guesthouse balcony and back into the keep. Vast snores from the Crab fill the air behind him.
Even unpopular guests appear mollified the next morning, or hung over. Moto Qing, Emerald Magistrate, seems even more cheerful than usual.
The day is filled with the trip to Cold Mountain Temple. Children offer flowers and cold tea to the travelers as the procession winds among the trails and deep, shadowed valleys on the way. There is laughter, and newcomers are impressed with the scale and height of the soaring mountain views.
Cold Mountain Temple sits on the broad shoulder of Three Winds Mountain. The Abbot greets the visitors as they are shown to spare but scrupulously clean quarters at the monastery there. The midsummer breezes are peach-scented, the orchard is in full bloom further down the slopes from the ancient temple.
It is in the orchard next morning that the ceremonies take place. Much purification, prayers and offerings lead the guests to a small humble open area amongst the flowering trees. The vows are spare and why not? The vista is beauty itself, as is the bride. Takeda Kaito is unabashedly beautiful and for once, she doesn’t mute or alter her gifts. Even some of the women appear impressed. The finery on display only frames the event, which exceeds even Yonaka’s expectations when the newly minted Kitsuki Masamune lifts a shakuhachi to her lips and puts her happiness into a melody that ties the very heavens to the earth. The Crane are still, eyes closed. Moto Qing doesn’t talk and even Shosuro Rei calms herself and forgets for a while she has duties. The music is breathtakingly beautiful and the Cranes express their appreciations with a simple but sincere bow to her. The abbot is so moved that he names the grove after her, Momo noh Masamune it becomes. He beams, the gifts and offerings have filled his meager coffers and his work is done as the guests feast upon the best that the Dragonlands can offer.
The day ends well.
PCs 1 exp pt
Masumune, also called Momo-sama by the Stone Dogs, is awarded an extra exp pt.