Temple of Osano-Wo
Private Notes of Isawa Shoken, Imperial Cartographer, Hatamoto to Hantei Naresu-sama
Today has been a day that has left me in awe. Fate seems to have dictated that I complete the pilgrimage of the Crab clan. Let me begin at the start.
Utaku Naomi-san led us to where the Iuchi bloodmage was conducting a foul ritual. Three Tsuno stood with her, bearing tainted blades and tainted magic. Utaku-san laid her quest to rest with the Iuchi’s corpse, but not before one Tsuno escaped and the other buried its blade in Matsu Orihime-san. Matsu-san knew the risk of taint with the blade shards still in her was high, so when the roar of an Oni was heard, the ground shaking with its steps, she stayed behind, seeking death with honor as her clan does. The rest of us rode north.
And there, on the horizon, Ito-san spotted a place within the Shadowlands where we rode that was not tainted. A pocket of sanctity that could not be tainted.
For we had found the place where lay the bodies of Hida-kami and Otaku-sama of the Thunders.
The hungry dead watched us here as we prayed, hidden from the power of the Shadowlands around us. Moshi-san told a story of the flaws of each clan and how those flaws had created oni. His story continued on, telling of their strengths as well and the spirits that matched each oni. The world seemed to listen and then light swallowed us up. We had decided to transport the preserved bodies of these honored dead back to their clans, but something, the Dragon of Thunder perhaps, had chosen our path for doing so. We stood with the carefully wrapped bodies outside of the Temple of Osano-Wo, far from the Shadowlands.
Utaku-san was angered by this as her duty bound her to the movements of her legion, even now possibly engaging with the roaring oni by her commands, and the light took her away again. I hope she is with them. I feel rather overwhelmed by all of this. It is one thing to see the human manifestations of divinity and power in the Emperors; it’s another to be moved by the whims of the Heavens like a piece on a board.
My duty to my school and to this holy task demands I return Hida-kami’s body back to the Crab. Surely the rest of the world, led by the competent heirs, can manage without insignificant me for as long as that takes?