Heart of Darkness
Minor Daimyo in the Crane Lands
Doji Haruki has served as a minor daimyo of a small province in southern Crane lands. In his career, Haruki has always been a dutiful and ordinary lord of his tiny province. He has never missed his taxes and has always submitted to the will of the Crane Clan leaders. Unfortunately, steady and ordinary has never garnered attention towards Haruki. His career is at a standstill, with few ways for promotion. Haruki worries that his greater ambitions will never be realized. Haruki held on to one hope for promotion over the years.
Several years ago, Haruki was invited to Kyuden Doji to attend the Imperial Court. The Imperial Court was the most important event in the year for all daimyos and courtiers to gain and lose political power. Haruki did not make a large impact in the court. Luckily, he met Seppun Ayumu, an Imperial daimyo with much greater political ties than his own. Ayumu took a fancy to Haruki and gifted him with the daisho of Seppun Daiori, hero of the Empire. Daiori led the Seppun family during the Scorpion Clan Coup and gave his life to protect the Crane embassy from enemy forces. Ayumu thought it a fitting gift for a young Crane.
Haruki placed the daisho in a place of honor in his audience chamber, where he could admire it every day and dream of a time when he could live up to his potential. He pointed out the gift to every visitor that traveled to his lands and boasted of his Imperial connections. Haruki knew that he could use the daisho to boost his standing in the Empire.