Aspirations

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"Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed." The run begins on

The run takes place in the City of Spires

Previous Run

Contents

Setup

Cai Wen briefs everyone: it is time to put the final touches on his plan to change the name of the Jade Taiga. Most of the steps have been done - the spire has dragon iconography, several Imperial offices are willing to install local offices, and the Taiga Regent has agreed to get a meeting of the Regency Council called there while the standard Council offices in the Dragon’s Throne are unavailable. Precious Jade has also signed on as an ally, in exchange for promises from Xiao Fa to keep her as the First Imperial Concubine. He has also promised Ando some blessings on the Imperial Spy Office, though the details of the blessings end up somewhat obscured.

Cityofspires.png

Others also have preparations to make for the upcoming political battles. Sima says that there will be enemies to come, and the Law will let everyone interact in a controlled environment without smiting. He gives Xiao Fa a set of Abilities of Law, to be passed out so that people may work within the rules yet still accomplish more.

  • Kasumi: Vanish from a hex in one hour, spend an hour unseen, and arrive anywhere in another hour.
  • Kasumi: Get a useful explanation of a hex or a trouble.
  • Master Deng: Arrive at a physical trouble hex or the Milita HQ.
  • Master Deng: In a physical trouble hex, chop all the mooks.
  • Kuan-Xi: Move everyone from your hex to any other hex (via little carriage).
  • Kuan-Xi: Move from any riverbank hex to any other riverbank hex.
  • Lijuan: If someone in your hex or a hex next to yours moves, you may follow their move and arrive with them in the subsequent move
  • Lijuan: At a non-physical trouble, Kawaii chases everyone away.
  • Merit: Move to a gate or dock hex, or to the Dragon Spire
  • Merit: Instantiate a strike team in a different hex
  • Yanyu: Move to a hex with a triad member, or any adjoining hex to one
  • Yanyu: Get a clearer briefing on a social trouble
  • Min Feng: Move to the Expensive Spire, Song Ming Zhu's house, or any hex with a triad member or Xiao Fa
  • Min Feng: Infiltrate any side in a trouble
  • Wei Han: Move everyone from your hex, to a physical-trouble hex. You may also move people in hexes on a shortest path to that hex.
  • Wei Han: Move to the Steel Spire
  • Takanata: Move to a hex with another PC, or an NPC you know (includes the banks of the Jasmine)
  • Takanata: Move one non-enemy NPC to your hex
  • Shuyan: Move to any hex that has no PCs and no PCs in a neighboring hex
  • Shuyan: Borrow one of the shticks of Ando's spy service office
  • Xian: Move to the Grand Guild Theater, the Wandering Path Wayhouse, or any social trouble
  • Xian: Confound everyone on the map at a physical trouble you are at
  • Xiao Fa: Arrive with someone else who is moving
  • Xiao Fa: Move to the Wandering Path Wayhouse or the Plum Blossom Healing House or the Dragon Spire
  • Shen-Ji: Move to any spire
  • Shen-Ji: Get a fuller briefing on a mystical trouble
  • Master Zhou: Move to a dojo or temple house
  • Master Zhou: Castle with a student
  • Cai Wen: Move to the hex of an NPC you know, or back to the Dragon Spire
  • Cai Wen: Put one trouble that has just been drawn on the bottom of the deck

Lucinda, Lijuan's majordomo (and minion of the Light) has favors for Lijuan to distribute, enabling people to trigger a longer scene or a fight, rather than a single make or break roll to resolve their issues.

The Regency councilors (as well as other visitors) begin to arrive in the city, and will soon start to propose edicts. Events start to happen, which must be dealt with in order to prevent the Regency Councilors from becoming alarmed and departing prematurely. Some of the events, if resolved well, will earn the favor of a regent, which can be used to sway them on a proposed edict that they do not have a strong opinion about.

Takanata draws some rather puzzling art, as does Lijuan.

10-balance.png 10-boardgame.PNG

Regency Proposals

As the Regents begin to arrive in the city, they each announce the edicts that they wish passed. The Mayor has an honorary seat on the Regency Council - it is not clear whether that is the Mayor of the Dragon's Throne (as usual) or the Mayor of the City of Spires(they’re in his city) in this case, but the former arrives first. (The Obsidian Warlord also has an honorary seat, but is too late to do anything.)

Proposals include:

Jade Taiga Regent
Mandate a full survey and census of the New Rivers area.
Support: Taiga, Forest of Chin, Butterfly Meadows.
Opposition: Plains
Qin Chao Steppes Regent
Ban trade with the barbarians across the North Wall.
Support: Steppes, Bear Mountain, Dragon's Throne.
Opposition: Arcade
Strand Regent
Register an official writ of obloquy against Ping Hui-ying, Lum Fuchi, and Masuno Omitsu on page 302 of the Grey Book.
Support: Strand, Forest of Chin, Shrouded Isle.
Opposition: Dragon's Throne

(The party deduces that this is basically burning the cover of several of Ando's agents)

Plains of Honor Regent
Move the Southeast Command of the Dragon Army from the City of Light to Jabon.
Support: Plains, Heights.
Opposition: Precincts
Hon'eth Arcade Regent
Budget for a new round of refurbishment and authority to enhance and expand the parks and green spaces of the Dragon's Throne.
Support: Dragon's Throne, Taiga.


Illuminated Precincts Regent
Construct a dam on the high reaches of the Jasmine River to control flooding and provide rotary force.
Support: Precincts, Forest of Chin.
Opposition: Taiga, Plains, Heights
Butterfly Gardens Regent
Move the Regency Council to the City of Spires permanently.
Support: Butterfly Gardens.
Opposition: Dragon's Throne
Shrouded Isle Regent
To increase trade, levy a docking fee on seacoast ports, to be paid for merchant vessels out of a joint fund drawn from the port trade associations and to be used for harbor improvements.
Support: Shrouded Isle, Arcade.
Opposition: Dragon's Throne
Dragon's Throne Regent
Rename the Dragon's Throne back to the Hidden City.
Support: Dragon's Throne, Forest of Chin.
Opposition: Butterfly Meadows


Cranesflight Heights Regent
Task two Imperial inspectors with investigating these so called "light" and "dark" subversives.
Support: Bear Mountain, Heights.
Opposition: Forest of Chin
Bear Mountain Regent
All proposals passed outside of the proper Regency Council venue are non-binding.
Support: Bear Mountain.
Opposition: Taiga
Forest of Chin Regent
Audit the current set of Jade Keys and their holders.
Support: Forest.
Opposition: Taiga
Dragon's Throne Mayor
All bureaucrats of level three and higher are to obtain Imperial licensing and certification.
Support: Dragon's Throne, Bear Mountain.
Opposition: Arcade


Events

Things begin happening, and people rush about the city to be in position to deal with them.

Sasaki's Workshop
Hint:Only sorcerers will be admitted to Sasaki's workshop while the experiment is in progress.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 2
Deadline: In two hours

This proves to be a self-sweeping broom gone awry, and Kuan-Xi and Shen-Ji successfully defuse it.

Master Furuta's Dojo
Hint: There can be only one Wu Xing. Unruly students are protesting Master Zhou's False Wu Xing!
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 2
Deadline: In two hours

This demonstration turns out to be provoked by Tai Lung, who suggests that Master Zhou has gone senile. Masters Zhou and Deng cut the tension with some careful punching, and accrue one annoyance.

Song Ming Zhu
Hint: Stop by for tea and biscuits.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 2
Deadline: In two hours

Min Feng's mother is apparently alarmed at having been invited to tea with the Purple Duke and a fancy matchmaker. Min Feng and Cai Wen manage to cut off the Purple Duke's attempt to set up a marriage with Min Feng, after some amusing misunderstandings, and accrue one annoyance.

Meanwhile, Takanata drops by Li Kao's spire, and gets a few more details about the mechanic. Apparently, too much annoyance will mutate into alarm, and both alarm and peril will cause regents to decide to leave the city early.

Prefect Xing's House
Hint: No further information is available here.
Potential peril: 3
Potential annoyance: 3
Deadline: In two hours

This turns out to be a kidnapping attempt on Prefect Xing's wife! Wei Han intimidates it away, but peril ticks up by one and annoyance by two.

The Golden Spire
Hint: The Great Spirits Speak!
Potential peril: 1
Potential annoyance: 6
Deadline: In three hours
Shrouded Isle Regent favor

Around the city, a high keening sound is heard from the Golden Spire. Kuan-Xi and Xiao Fa head there, and are hit by a wave of grief and anguish from Phoenix: All those that you love die. Burn it all down.

Phoenix's emotions hit Kuan-Xi particularly hard, and she tells Shen-Ji to firebomb the map. Surprisingly, he does not. (1 peril and 1 annoyance)

Grand Guild Theatre
Hint: A new puppet show is going up for the enjoyment of local children.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 1
Deadline: In three hours

Lijuan easily quells the trouble here.

Sagacious Mu
Hint: Consult with Sagacious Mu to see and reorder the next five event cards.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 0
Deadline: In one hour

Kasumi burns her teleport, and the upcoming events become a bit easier.

Coral Spire
Hint: A delightful cocktail party is happening in two hours. Status or Charisma >10 required to attend.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 3
Deadline: In three hours

Takanata and Shuyan attend the Pearl's party. Takanata asks for her help in getting a Regency vote to support the Taiga, and Shuyan asks for help in defeating the Strand Regent's proposal.

Queen Mother's House
Hint: The King's mother is getting on in years.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 5
Deadline: In five hours

Yanyu and Xian and Prince Ti Jun turn up at the Queen Mother's house to see her. She clutches her heart, having some sort of attack. Xian succeeds in a medicine roll, and Yanyu turns out to have a stash of particularly medicinal herbs in her box. Ti Jun also proves to have an antidote, but it isn't needed, so he spends his roll on yoinking the credit. Xian is suspicious why Ti Jun happened to have an antidote so ready. Only one annoyance is generated.

Meanwhile, in the Golden Spire, Kuan-Xi finds herself with a star in her hand. Xiao Fa talks to Dragon, who tells him to make sure the star stays safe, and he manages to talk Kuan-Xi down a bit. Maybe everyone she loves will die, but that doesn't mean she has to burn it all down in advance.

Magpie points out that "everyone talks to Dragon" was Xiao Fa's turn, but everyone else can talk to a Great Spirit too. Kuan-Xi asks about Lijuan's prophetic art, as everyone is particularly interested in the purple blob. The party is playing the Game, but others are playing on the same board, including Light versus Dark, Butterfly versus Fox (and Serpent), and two players that Crane is not permitted to draw. Shen-Ji asks Bear about the Light and the Dark, and is answered that they do recur, and one way to deal with them is to lure them into fighting each other directly.

Master Tanuma's Dojo
Hint: Master Tanuma offers advice
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 0
Deadline: In two hours
Tradesman Way
Hint: If Alarm Level is lower than 5, a block party occurs. If Alarm Level is between 5 and 10 a demonstration occurs. If Alarm level is greater than 10, a riot occurs.
Potential peril: 5
Potential annoyance: 5
Deadline: In three hours


Master Tanuma's advice on solving the block party without destruction is to buy successes to turn it into a funded block party. (A demonstration will require 15 successes, and a riot will require 25). Master Deng helps fund the block party and things stay peaceful.

Back at the Golden Spire, Shuyan buys skill in Regal from Fox, and Xiao Fa gets his grief shaken out of him.

Spire of Ink and Paper
Hint: Get a PC to the Civil Service, the Royal Palace, and the Customs house, to pick up ledgers and then get them to the Spire of Ink and Paper for analysis.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 4
Deadline: In five hours
Potential favor: Imperial Bureaucrat

Master Zhou investigates the Spire of Ink and Paper, and thinks that scrolls have been moved around, possibly in a way that is cryptomantically significant. His best guess is that it is related to a realm of a non-Imperial spirit, being actively hidden.

Ferry Building
Hint: Ezokin is here to repay his debt. Wei Han or Kuan Xi must meet him.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 4
Deadline: in three hours
Spire of the Dead
Hint: The park around the Spire of the Dead is filling with mist
Potential peril: 2
Potential annoyance: 1
Deadline: by 1 drift from now
Potential favor: Crane regent

The mist summons all immortals (including Takanata and Li the Wanderer) as well as Kuan-Xi, who is transported away from the ferry building where she was about to meet Ezokin, much to her frustration. Takanata puts his hand upon the pattern to get Wei Han to the ferry building in time instead. Someone mysterious and charming (believed to be Fox) ends up getting the money intended for Ezokin.

Completely Uninteresting Forest
Hint: Send at least four PCs here.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 0
Deadline: In two hours
Potential favor: Strand regent

No one makes it to the forest - no doubt nothing of interest happens.

Pearl Docks
Hint: Customs inspectors found a suspicious crate. Is it supposed to glow like that?
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 3
Deadline: In two hours

A strike team grabs the crate, which turns out to be cursed silk. They eventually deliver it to the vault at Tahiti. (1 annoyance)

Militia HQ
Hint: Negotiate an information exchange between militias outside of Dragon Army channels.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 3
Deadline: In three hours
Potential favor: Qin Chao Steppes regent

Cai Wen forges the militia accords here, earning the regent's favor and only one annoyance.

Back at the Spire of the Dead, the Golden Prince informs them that the Mortal Blade, Miyamoto Musashi, has passed to the World After. Either Master Deng or Ti Jun's blademistress, or a third who is not here, would be suitable for the position. Deng agrees to take the position; this will require that he officially leave both the White Lotus and the House of Exuberant Interference.

Vineyards
Hint: Complete a wine tasting and report on the results.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 1
Deadline: In two hours
Potential favor: Hon'eth Arcade regent

As it turns out, Xian has a comparative spigot hoop, so generating a wine tasting report is not a problem. However, getting it to the Arcade regent is a bit trickier, as the vineyards are quite a ways away from the Dragon Spire. Min Feng convinces the Arcade regent to take a brief nap, and Xian sends him a dream. (The hoop's third adjective is "hearing".)

The Crossroads
Hint: Demons are gathering\ldots What do they know?
Potential peril: 1
Potential annoyance: 6
Deadline: In three hours
Potential favor: Heights regent

Kasumi shows up to meet with the demons. They were apparently part of the World Below rebellion, and were planning to storm the Golden Spire, but were drawn too late. They offer Kasumi several bargains, but she claims to not be authorized to negotiate. (3 annoyance)

Some potential troubles that either were not dealt with, or the dealing-with was not noted:

Steel Spire
Hint: Expose training deficiencies in the troops stationed here.
Potential peril: 1
Potential annoyance: 3
Deadline: In five hours
Jasmine Docks
Hint: Aid the Jasmine in claiming the hexes around the Queen Mother's Palace as Her own.
Potential peril: 1
Potential annoyance: 3
Deadline: in three hours
Coral Spire
Hint: A delightful cocktail party is happening in two hours. Status or Charisma $>$10 required to attend.
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 3
Deadline: In three hours
Gentle Riverbend
Hint: House Tsui agents are in the area. Stop them from doing something embarrassing to the forest.
Potential peril: 3
Potential annoyance: 6
Deadline: In three hours
Potential favor: Forest regent
Burnt Chalk's Dojo
Hint: Convince the Master to Journey to the Red Pagoda for a Season
Potential peril: 0
Potential annoyance: 2
Deadline: In three hours
Potential favor: Bear Mountain regent
Third Spire
Hint: Tally is bored.
Potential peril: 1
Potential annoyance: 5
Deadline: In one hour

Wrapup

Xiao Fa makes his speech (48 successes) announcing his engagement to Min Feng. It’s quite fabulous, but several of the Regency Council members erupt into shouting, as making an imperial engagement announcement is practically claiming the throne. The King’s mother storms in and chastizes them all saying, “I’m not sure how such things are done in the Dragon’s Throne, but here ``in the Foxruns’’, these things are handled with decorm and delicacy.”

People assume the King’s mother was Fox in disguise, as the name change of the country seems to stick hard.

The repayment of Ezokin's debt seems to have resulted in the first 8.5 tael of Min Feng and Xiao Fa's wedding arrangements being free. Ezokin considers his debt to Kuan Xi paid. Kuan-Xi doesn't think this is an appropriate repayment of the debt, but Fox was definitely involved, and so she doesn’t fight it.

The Dark v Light game is a shutout for the Dark, which had thirty abilities used, while no one used the Light powerups.

The Taiga regent is the only one to have his edict passed.

And finally, the people of the land realize that the name of the country is the Foxruns, and has always been so (except for those who have crossed the Walls, who remember the change).