The topaz tournament
Characters: Tamori Jiyu, mantis
The tournament goes wrong when a ronin tries to cause the Crane to be dishonored by failing to stop murders at the tournament. Events come to a head during the hunting trial where Jiyu, mantis, and Hiruma Do, a Crab samurai, fight the ronin and his two bandit henchmen. The ronin and bandits are defeated but not before Do is killed.
Later, Hiruma Mai, Do’s aunt, brings Do’s ashes to the pair and asks that they take his ashes on the adventure that Yasuki Jo, Do’s cousin, had planned to help bring Do out of the melancholy induced by his gempukku (going into the Shadowlands and killing a creature). She gives them three things from Do’s personal effects, a wooden tortoise token, a piece of a map, and a letter from Yasuki Jo to Do.
The characters agree to go on the adventure.