Shadowed Autumn Leaves
Palace of the Emerald Magistrate
From Shishinza’s Dossier
As I said above, homes in the Old Quarter with the largest gardens house persons of higher status. As the Emerald Magistrate of Broken Wave City, you will require a place of splendid elegance to display your status and entertain your many guests. I have endeavored to provide you with just such an environment. The estate is defensible, with high walls. Within those walls lie all that a dutiful Emerald Magistrate may require; stables, yoriki barracks, peasant quarters, armory, vault, offices, and the all important garden. The garden is the envy of most within the Old Quarter, and its water feature is unrivaled within the city. Some from the more dour clans may look down on what they deem “opulence.” I assure you, this is not opulence, but insurance that all will respect the office of the Emerald Magistrate, and thus, all will respect the law of the Emperor on Kaigen’s Island. Even the most humble Dragon or the most somber Lion will thank me for the lovely estate I have crafted for them, and for all future Emerald Magistrates within this city.
An Unfortunate Truth
Upon arrival to Koware Nami Toshi, the new Emerald Magistrates discovered that Shishinza’s compound was not yet fully furnished or constructed. The magnificent garden he wrote passionately about had existed only in his mind at the time of his death. In its place there was a great mud pit and a half finished and rotting bridge spanning nothing. The stables, armory, and forge were all empty or incomplete. The yoriki barracks was little more than a bare timber frame, lacking interior walls and furnishings. In stark contrast, the public areas of the Magistrate’s Palace were opulently furnished, with lavish shoji screens, golden statuettes, exotic floor coverings calling “rugs”, furniture of the finest and rarest woods, and other garish and jarring features. It was immediately clear that the compound, even in its unfinished state, was not built on an Emerald Magistrate’s modest stipend.
- Kaikyu, Knoll, is in his late thirties. He is stout and strong, possessing the arms of a lifelong builder. Though he is balding, he makes no attempt to hide the loss of his hair. Knoll is the Chonin, the head man, of the Household servants, though, that does not stop him from personally working on many of the projects alongside his fellow servants. His skills are in engineering, woodworking, and hard labor. His wife died several years ago, though he has not said how.
- Oka, Hill, is a jack-of-all-trades. He shares the work ethic and respect for samurai of his father, Knoll. Hill is in his early twenties, but clearly shows the signs of a life spend hard at work. He is skilled at tending horses, maintaining the household, maintaining arms (those he is allowed to touch, of course), smithing, and tending to money matters, though, he is not an expert in any field.
- Jiki, Porcelain, is Knoll’s only surviving daughter. She maintains a sunny disposition, even around samurai, and is always trying to make herself more useful to her betters. Porcelain is in charge of the kitchen and is a talented chef. As well as her duties in the kitchen, she maintains the pantry, restocks it when it gets low, tends to the water stores, and cleans the eating utensils and clothing. In spite of her heavy workload, she remains cheery at all times.
- Yokomuki, Sideways, is so named due to the extreme asymmetry of the left side of his face. Besides this irregularity Sideways looks very similar to his brother, Knoll, though he may be slightly taller. Sideways helps to maintain the estate, and handles the distasteful monetary duties for the household. These duties rarely keep him busy however, and when he is not kept busy by his duties he can be found fishing nearby, or spending his time drinking and gambling. Sadly, Sideways was secretly killed by the the Oni no Ayatsurishibai and replaced by one of its insidious puppets.
- Kuzu, Kudzu, is the head gardener. He is in his mid-thirties, and wears his hair slightly longer than is usual for a man of his low station. Though he has a reputation as a skilled cultivator, his efforts within the compound have thus far been complete failures. He has subtlety placed blame on Yasuki Shishinza for wanting to have the most expensive flora and the most expensive soil, despite the unfortunate fact that they were not compatible. It is clear that the state of the garden thoroughly shames him, and he walks about as a man defeated.
- Aza, Birthmark, is the wife of Kudzu. She is in her late twenties and is fairly pretty for a peasant girl, save the unsightly black spot which mares her right temple. She tends to the cleaning of the household and the grounds, as well as the clothing and eating utensils. Though she is highly respectful of samurai, she often nags her husband about his failures in the garden, and his failure to successfully impregnate her. She had a miscarriage last year, though that apparently as not effected her work ethic.
- Kyobu, Thorax, is in his late forties, showing the signs of age. His hands shake, he has a humpback, and walks with a simple stick cane. He seldom talks, but always does as he is told. Thorax arrived from the Scorpion lands to tend to Bayushi Shinichiro as his personal servant. As such his duties include caring for Shinichiro’s personal affects, sleeping chambers, and everyday needs.
- Hotaru, Firefly, is in her late teens, and is described by many as a hopeless romantic. She is a bit boy-crazy, constantly dreaming of marriage, which she is careful not to talk about in the presence of her betters. Trained as one of Utaku Mei’s handmaidens, the Shiotome Kuge hand-selected the girl to serve as Aeko’s personal servant. She is well trained in all aspects of animal husbandry, especially concerning the care of fine horses. Since Aeko’s disappearance, Hotaru has moved back to the Wind’s Home.