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21. Doji Ren

Opium dens everywhere...

Played on March 17th, 2019

The Green Rest

The next morning I send out Kiji to pay a visit to Burakumin village to figure out what the locals have to say about the supposed goblin attacks.
During breakfast we ask the waitress about Kakita Amano. But she hasn't seen him for quite a while. Kizu, the printshop owner, might know more. We might also want to figure out if we can find more info on the colourful Ronin with the eye-patch.

Kyo, Aki and Yumako will go to Kizu, while Tichuki, Yoshi and me will go to the Green Dream. We have to go the the Wallow, quite a filthy area of the city. It takes some Emerald Magistrate badge flashing to get the correct directions. We pass various other opium dens with the ever present fumes. A number of brothels, pawnshops, ramshackle inns and numerous Gaijin, even more than in the 'better' areas of town.
lly we reach the Green Rest and upon entering we see about six or seven people sitting/lying about sucking their pipe. At the back of the inn we see an old man peeking through a sliding shutter, quickly closing it again as he sees us. A man by the name of Awa welcomes us and asks what he can do for us. I immediately request to meet his master. I reply that he can introduce us as Doji, Togashi and Hiruma. Tichuki adds 'Emerald Magistrates'.
We enter the office in the back where the owner tells us a Crane sometimes visited this place and at times even accompanied by another Samurai. But it's been a few weeks since his last visit. Perhaps we could go to the Golden Dream for more info. It seems he's constantly trying to discredit the Golden Dream. Yoshi wonders if he could get some opium. Yaguro asks if he want to use it here or if it's to go.
He goes on to complain about how he's losing clients as they keep asking for Blue Flame. And he curses about it being foreign evil stuff likely connected to the ever present Gaijin. Next on his list is the Magistrate and then he goes on to incriminate Kizo for offering 'protection'.

Sharing information

We head back to the inn where we meet up with Kiji and the others.
Kiji starts of with explaining what he has learned; It turns out certain Hinin have lost family members and even children to the goblins. A few people have followed the goblins into the swamp and they are even willing to guide us there. I request Kiji to arrange for a meeting outside of the village, where we can meet up with them so they can lead the way.
From Kyo, Aki and Yumako we hear that Kizo did indeed know Hiroshige and that he had lent him money. But he hasn't seen him for a while neither. They have also learned that he has sold some paintings from Amano, Hiroshige's friend.

Tracking through the swamps

We meet the Hinin and Yumako tells them to lead the way. The man and woman walk ahead of us into the swamp. Sometimes they indicate tracks which Tichuki investigates. While Tichuki is busy with this, all of a sudden the two Hinin round a corner, leaving us in the middle of the swamp. As I suspect evil lurking ahead I quickly grab my bow
I'm glad I did as all of a sudden two green humanoid drop down from the trees in front of us.