After leaving the island of Silk, the fleet makes its way to the island of Spice. Along the way, Kitsu Okura attacks the fleet. In desperation, Yoritomo tries to save his people from the Dark Elemental Master of Water, and calls about the young Irchiro, who has the Mantle of the Thunder Dragon upon him. The young shugenja to be, gives the Son of Storms the power to confront the Elemental Master and succeed. The cost is great, and Yoritomo falls, his chi expended and no clear sign of the true cost of this. Seppun Matsuo takes command of the fleet.
With a moment’s reprieve, the group catches its breath. Akasha is taken away to rest, and Kaneka speaks with his half brother (both are age 12, I found my notes at last). Daidoji Uji says that the groupo must land on Spice to find and protect Toturi. Heichi Juyo asks Matsu Nobu to find his family, as he is wounded and he cannot abandon his men, and Nobu agrees. The group then finds that the 8th Legion is attacking Spice and they move the Mantis Fleet in between the waves of ships and doing so allows the third wave of escapees to flee from Spice.
The Tiger Maw’s Elite takes a small vessel and tried to land on the island, but The Maw’s rising form the sea throws their efforts into chaos and many of their followers are swept overboard into the Skull Tide. Shoshuro Himitsu has not been seen since, but Hida Jūbunna, Isawa Hakana, Matsu Anga and Matsu Hisan made it to shore along with their Crane allies, although many were separated into smaller groups and forced to face the horrors of the island divided. Jūbunna and Anga fought off waves of goblins and ogres, while Hakana and Hisan stood against Yakamo no Oni and his undead hoard.
Nishimura and Hiruma Genshu found the City of Lightening burning and in ruins. Isawa Tsuke had hung Isawa Keade’s corpse form the towers and started burning everything. The Maw was razing the island, and Miya Satoshi was dueling any samurai who got in his way. The followed refugees fleeing form the battle through the black smith’s shop, and found Kuni Nodai had died defending the area.
Toku Gattsu, Kuni Hisui and Nobu arrived at the docks to witness Kuni Osako in a great duel with Yoritomo Makashi. During the duel, Osako allowed herself to be injured to save the fourth fleet escape, and in a moment of hubris Makashi was defeated by the shugenja’s swordsman skill. The 8th Legion backed away to find other targets, with their champion lost. Saving the docks, the group retreated into the jungle to find Toturi.
Everyone united with Toturi who had some 40 followers still with him, most of which were eta and hemin. Fortunately the Tiger Maw’s Elite gave him better news since he saw his dead wife and had assumed his youngest son was dead. He rallied those there with knowledge of a hidden vessel and told everyone to sail to the Ivory Kingdom. On their way out, fate intervened and Hoturi the Heartless was waiting for them with a massive showing of force. Many of their recently recruited allies were there too, their wills stolen by The Heartless.
Toturi made a deal with the Heartless, in return for his staying to a duel, his men would give chase in 20 minutes, along enough for his people to escape. He handed his daughter to Hakumei, and gave Uji the command, and told them to run. Uji then gave command to Osaku, who led the people to safety. He held the Tiger’s Maw Elite Unit back, and quickly they cobbled together a plan to kill The Heartless. They would use the Ashura Blood to put it into the cavity in the chest of Hoturi, and someone would strike it to destroy him for completely.
As soon as the two Thunders stood face to face, and entered the duel, Hoturi told him men to follow and kill all of Toturi’s followers, saying “It ends here.” Already locked into the duel, the two moved… but the Heartless was faster and cut the Lion Thunder near in half. Taking a moment to watch, savoring the near death of his rival, the Heartless was irritated by a foot solider walking up to him saying that there was a problem. Tuning in annoyance, the Obsidian Champion was startled to find a katana arcing at him in an awkward Butter Sword of Lies style from the hands of Kaneka as he shouted to leave his father alone.
The Tiger’s Maw unit left to life, spells seemed to slip off of the Obsidian Champion, and arrows were of little effect, and even Nishamura found the Crane Champion nearly impossible to strike. Gattsu however started to rain blows on him, pushing the Heartless back towards a tree in the center of the field. Uji jumped down on him, and seemed to wrestle and try to close to cut the head from Hoturi, but instead he threw the Iron Crane off. Ranting and raving, the Heartless demanded to know what was the point of all of this, but failed to notice the battle lodged in his cavity.
Nobu and Nishamura took up their firing stances, and unleashed a volley of arrows. Hoturi must have sensed a trap, and spun out of the way of the arrows, with Nobu’s arrow sailing through the hole in the cavity, but unable to strike the vial. Knowing that if they waited any longer, the Heartless would renew his attacks and perhaps kill them all, Genshu charged the Crane with the Talon of the Celestial Dragon in hand. He jump and struck with all of his might and skill, striking the vial, and he and the Crane Champion both were consumed by the flames. When the smoke cleared, Genshu lay burnt to near non recognition, a mass of black and red oozing flesh. But the Heartless…. it was gone, taken by the immolating flames.
Hisui rushed to his body guard’s side and revived him with prayers to the kami, giving him just enough life to stand once more. Kaneka dropped to his father’s side, and the two talked for just a moment:
“He found you,” Toturi whispered weakly. “Toku found you.”
Kaneka could say nothing. He only nodded at his father, clasping his hand in his own.
“Kaede saw you. . . ” Toturi whispered. “She said that you would save us.”
Kaneka bowed his head, unable to meet his father’s eyes.
“You must promise,” Toturi said. “You must promise that you will not abandon them. The people of Rokugan need a leader. They must not lose hope. . . ”
“I promise, father,” Kaneka said. “I promise I will not abandon them.”
Toturi nodded. He smiled a final time at his eldest son and died.
The Unit then gathered themselves up, Uji dispelled the fear that they were trapped on an island of the damned, and fled towards his hidden vessel, it could not take them to the Ivory Kingdoms, but it could make it back to the mainland.
Along the way, they searched for Juyo’s fmaily, and found Heichi Shinwa and his half sister, his step mother had died somewhere on the beach. They joined the group and made it to the caves. They built a pyre for Toturi, “I will not abandon them,” Kaneka whispered, touching the torch to the pyre. They them rowed away into the turbulent seas, as they watched scores of Ashura pouring form the heavens onto the Island of Spice, knowing no one would remain alive who remained.