Shadowed Autumn Leaves
Tsuruchi Michisune's Report
Attachment to Shishinza’s Dossier
Yasuki-sama, Kaba-san, and Pious-san left via kobune to the southwest towards Tetsuomoishima, Heavy Iron Island to investigate a possible lead against Hunger and Thirst. We found their ship washed up there. Fortunately the water was shallow enough to allow us to investigate the kobune. The ship was submerged from stern to midship, and heavily damaged; riddled with arrows and set ablaze. The fire was fueled by some sort of accelerant, a mixture of whale oil and other ingredients was found on the deck mixed with the blood and ichor. After the fire was set, the boat was steered into the rocky coast, and there its stern sunk below the waves. Kaba-san, was found floating and bloated nearby the ship. He had been shot with many arrows. There were six visible, though, Three Teeth says that there were three more willowleaf who’s shafts had been broken off. Kaba-san did not die without a fight. A scroll-satchel belonging to Pious-san was found, though there was only a single scroll within it. His personal cipher has proven too difficult for us to crack. The scroll is being kept at the Civic Hall for safe keeping until such time as a specialist can be found. There was no sign of the bodies of Yasuki-sama or Pious-san, and so we had hoped they had escaped. When Yasuki-sama was discovered his body was almost beyond recognition. Twisted by the brine and bloated to twice his size. The steel Emerald Badge that Yasuki-sama would wear with his armor had been heated and pressed into his face, resulting in a gruesome branding. The actual badge, deformed and blackened was found with the boat, though at the time we had no idea what it had been. Three Teeth found several of Yasuki-sama’s personal effects on the corpse, further confirming the identity, and discovered the cause of death was a blade across the throat, though he had four other superficial wounds and one other deep wound. He claims they were most likely from arrows or yari. Pious-san has not been found, though it is been nearly a month now, and we feel as though it is safe to assume that whatever is left of him has been swept to sea. How piteous.
After word spread that Yasuki-sama had passed, a pitiful and cowardly heimin miner called Widow’s Peak was interviewed. The chonin, headman, of Heavy Iron Island forced him to come forward. He was fearful, but eventually, we halted his blubbering long enough to get his story. The following comes from Widow’s Peak’s testimony alone: The heimin was fishing along the shore when he saw two ships speeding by the island. One ship was aflame, and took a sudden turn and ran aground on the rocky coast. The other ship pulled up alongside the burning kobune and eight men in bright green and yellow armor, with “snake mempo,” obviously a crude description of the keisatsukan armor, and yari began boarding it. A robed man who’s description matched Pious, began entreating the kami, but one of the armored men sprayed a liquid at his face, which caused him to clutch at his eyes and scream out in agony. A “giant already covered in arrow wounds,” matching the description of Kaba, engaged the armored men. He also said there was a third man in the burning kobune, who wore blue armor and had an arrow in his side, clearly Yasuki-sama. Yasuki-sama was at the rudder, and was “tending to his arrow wound,” as Kaba engaged. According to Widow’s Peak, Kaba killed three of his opponents before being brought down, even under the arrow fire from the other ship, though we found no other bodies, and certainly no bodies wearing keisatsukan armor. At this point, the man with the liquid spray approached a screaming Pious and covered him in the liquid. Then pushed him into the flames. Apparently at this time, one of the armed assailants spotted the peasant, and he ran away in fear; the end of his tale.
We spoke to Jerako-sama, and many of the Watchmen, but have found nothing amiss there, and have concluded that Widow’s Peak probably described the armor incorrectly out of fear, or perhaps, simply described the armor of the keisatsukan who accompanied me to the questioning. Who can explain the folly of a peasant? Regardless, after over one hundred separate interviews with nearly all the keisatsukan who were stationed on ships during that time we have concluded that the Watchmen are completely unrelated to this horrible crime. Though the simple fact that we even conducted so many questionings on the word of a filthy peasant, a rock smasher and simpleton, should properly display just how badly we wish to solve this case. I have transcribed three copies of this report, for Ninsei-sama and the Emerald Magistrates office.