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> The Arrivals
post Jan 29 2018, 08:05 PM
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Late in the evening, things were much a bustle in the Kitchens. Tension was high as a number of the regular artisan chefs usually responsible had received a personal order from the Clan’s Daymio. “Seth will be obeyed, the meal will be perfect, or I will be attending the kitchen one last time” and although 800 Blades did his utmost to keep the mood light, the staff knew what that meant. With no expense spared or detail missed the perfect cuisine by the design of the famous Woodrow was working its way into the higher tiers of the palace and the feasting hall, except for one, very special dish. Carried by the most perfectly poised Geisha and escorted by Samurai, this revered box of steaming dumplings and rice left the kitchen and into the main complex, crossing the courtyard quickly and following the same route it had every evening for the past two weeks. Once inside, she moved away the old portion, placed down the new next to His body, placed the chopsticks into the rice pointing upwards, bowed deeply in unison with the Samurai and backed out from the room.

In other parts of the Palace the scene was no less a bustle. Many Courtiers and Geisha shuffled silently with their gaze low preparing many guest rooms. Ironically, it had been a while since the usually closed and tight Snake Clan Palace had been opened in this way to so many from reaches
far and wide. The Hinin had lined the road part in reverence, but in part to see the stream of Legends that would walk past that day. The thing that had drawn the most attention was that over the past week a camp along with a complete and fresh stable had been erected no more than a few minutes walk from the gates, replete with banners holding three regal lions. It was most definitely the most memorable of things, when Masayoshi arrived there accompanied by a detachment of guardians usually reserved for duty upon The Wall.

A low rumble of earth, a shifting of soil and appearing as if from the ground came the first of the Bannermen, then a vanguard, then bodyguard, all dressed head to toe in fine dwarven plate and completed by the principal. Tatyanna Stonewell, The Banner of Al-Macsar wore the value of a palace in jewels set into the most ornate armour, her entire retinue astride large sabertooth cats arrived with two large dire wolves. Masayoshi received them, apologising for the quarters outside the Palace but ensuring that it would be ‘everything that they had requested’. The Guardians of The Wall took post to protect this camp, a different ward for the evening.

Arriving from the west after a chance meeting upon the road, were the only two to arrive without much pomp or ceremony. Happy to just be there and taking this funeral in the much more westernised feeling of sending of a friend and lending support to those he had left, Tirima of Shaehan and Andvari, in the most solemn and silent mood ever seen from this usually so buoyant character, arrived at the gates themselves. The guards, recognising Tirima immediately for all the good things he had done for The Clan, bowed deeply and solicited no answers from the pair.

As dusk reared, walking the road from interior came a small guard of four Samurai accompanying Neko Panama. Some yards behind followed an unsuspicious peasant leaning upon a bamboo walking staff. As this retinue arrived so did a soft sense of calm, a presence of acceptance, peace and tranquility usually not felt till sometime after such an event. It was true on that day that this Palace became the focus of many shades of God’s, Fortunes and Dragons. A fine mist and a strange effect on the light, like being in the Far North, kept a warm stasis like feeling in the Kabei Province that evening, with night not truly falling till well after the feast was completed.

Once all were in attendance in The Palace’s great hall, Lord Zu entered accompanied by the Shugenja from the provinces Shrine. Quietly and soft spoken he simply ‘thanked all these great friends of Yosaki’ for sparing the time to see him justice. Nodding to the priest, he stepped back as this Holy man Serenaded the Kami, offering prayers that these good spirits would guide the ineffable spirit of Yosaki back to his Divine family. That Ting-Bo would warm tea for him before he travelled either back to the heavens to sit aside his Grandfather, or that he should return to serve his destiny further on the next turn of the wheel accordance with the most divine wisdom of Ri-Lee, The Celestial Emperor. He then blessed all present for their magnanimous and noble attendance. “Please, enjoy the Feast” both Lord Zu and the Shugenja bowed deeply and left crossing the courtyard to the final duty of the day, leaving Lord Chu to see to the various guests and allies that had gathered.

Entering His personal quarters, the two made their way to His room. Through the open window shone moonlight upon His corpse, ashen and grey as a sickly, strong scent filled the room masking the growing sense of death and cloy of uneaten food. Beginning the rites, the Shugenja knelt either side of the corpse with Lord Zu, holding a wooden tablet for the spirit to be transferred to. As this passed, a mist rolled in through the window and across the floor, dancing through this came a kaleidoscope of lights of differing spark and hue. From the far end of the room The Fortunes of Magic and the Dragon of The Mists watched over these last rites, hearing from afar the Shugenja’s abjuration for the soul of this loyal soldier of Heaven, their friend.

Once the rites were complete, the Lord of the Snake Clan gave thanks to all the Kami that watched over this ceremony. The rest of the evening he was not seen at the feast. Instead he remained in that room, by his request, ‘with his Brother’ Ri-Leck.


Oc: flavour post two of three, cheers guys. John, Pacey, and Grant
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