Length: 3 Sessions
Having completed his aprenticeship at the Dojo in Clan Tamigashima’s lands, Hattori Hanzo set out with the other students to compete in the Topaz Championship for the right to his katana. This yearly competition is the most prestigious Gempukku event in the lands. He arrived a day early and using part of his savings rented a room for the duration. He quickly met several other competitors:
- A young ‘easy going’ samurai called Agasha Hanori who must succeed in order to impress the father of his wife to be, Otomo Umako. He is of Clan Suzuki.
- A powerful natural mystic called Tamori Gojinka. The spirits jossel for her attention, even though she does not want it. She is of a lesser clan called Tamori.
- Kakita Shino, an arrogant but skilled duelist. He makes it very clear that he wishes to win, no matter what the cost. He is also of Clan Suzuki.
- Yoritomo Yuriko, a quiet and solemn woman who has close ties with many schollars allowing her access where people of her station could usually not go. She has quite lofty standards and people must beat them before she considers them her equal. She is of Clan Ito.
- Doji Wakao, the eldest son of a powerful Clan Ito family and is fourth in line for the position of Shogun. He tries to overcome his late fathers reputation as a boar by being a no-nonsense gentleman.
- Bayushi Dembe, a member of clan Nakamura, who is very friendly initally to gain lots of friends, but turns them against each other. It later turns out that he has a score to settle with Doji Wakao as Doji is engadged to his childhood sweetheart.
- Usagi Kamahime, of Clan Morimoto, is a spring of energy. She never stops moving and even when relaxing she continues to fidget with energy and she can be seen arguing with thin air. As it turns out, she has a connection to the spirit world and can communicate with the dead. She is haunted by her late father who sees her as a failure.
- Hazu, a bitter ronin whoes family were murdered by Juriken leaving him a ronin. He has come to the competition to discover the indentity of Juriken.
- Karitima Saite of lesser Clan Hitomi. Initally he was boorish towards Hattatori as he had beaten him in combat. He was a supprisingly quick samurai of towering stature.
- Juriken, a ronin formerly from Clan Ito but posing as being from the Lesser Clan Karikia in order to disgrace clan Ito by framing Doji Wakao. It turns out that he was a former Samurai/Ninja for clan Ito and a former Topaz Championship but was disgraced after he failed a mission and disowned by his clan. In his time between then and now he had learned some forbidden Kido magic and fire magic. He and his 3 accomplices had killed the four Clan Karikia apprentices and stole their clothing.
Initally there was no problem, but on the final competition of the second day there was a spree of murders that left only the above samurai. Initally Hattori had no reason to suspect Juriken as it seemed that Doji and Tamori had banded together and murdered Bayushi after Doji and he had dueled. This seemed to be the case due to Hattori knowing that Tamori was able to use the mystic arts and that Bayushi appeared to have been burned to death within a perfect sphere of fire.
However over the course of the night several more samurai were murdered including Hazu (After Hattori had calculated that he was the murderer), Kakita and Karitima (after Hattori had formed a sturdy friendship with him). Hattori himself barely escaped assassination when the inn he was in was set fire to and as he attempted to climb down to escape the blaze, was shot. He discovered a bow of Ito make (actually Jurikens, which he left on purpose to further incriminate) which further increased his suspicions of Doji, who had vanished to find the truth about his framing. However his discovery that the only Karikia Clan member in town had been killed in a fire a few days previously put some suspicion on Juriken. Hattori discovered that four corpses had been found floating in the nearby river. After a bit of research in a libary, with access provided by Yoritomo Yuriko and a seance with dead spirits of the murdered provided by Usagi he determined that it was not Doji who was guilty but Juriken, after he discovered a collection of old wanted posters with his face on it.
However before he could leave he was confronted by Juriken. They fought, with Juriken badly wounding Hattori with a flame blast which set alight to the libary and forced the fight onto the roof. Hattori was badly outmatched in terms of sheer power but managed to force Juriken off the side of the roof with several well placed hits. However after he had safely decended the four floors he discovered only a large pool of blood remained with a trail quickly being obscured by rain. However he did discover a scroll that was encoded which Juriken had probably dropped as he fell and tried to escape. Juriken’s accomplices were captured or killed by authorites soon over and Doji was exonerated. He immediately sent word for a gift for Hattori in thanks for his work.
Due to Jurikens escape, the leader in the contest was removed and in a final competition Hattori became the overall winner. He was rewarded with his Katana, which he christed “Little Crane” to match his prefered style of swordsmanship. He also recieved the title of Topaz Champion for a year and a reading of his future, which revealed that he would, in the years to come cure a great plague, defeat a demon and through this, discover a great treasure.
As he was leaving Doji presented him with a Jade inlayed Tanto of superior craftsmenship as a symbol of friendship. Hattori accepted it and set out on his journey to master the sword. His immediate goal was to seek out the Steel Village craftsmen and to have them reforge his katana.
Thus began his journey.