It’s the morning after the party, and the Aetherians are standing outside Sho’s palace, some of them still looking a bit sleepy after staying up late the night before. Apparently, the warlords wish to speak with them at dawn, so here they are, waiting for them to arrive. Soon enough, though, three covered carriages drive up to Sho’s palace, each pulled by a handful of servants. Out of them step the three warlords: Eboshi, giving the crowd a cheery wave; Kaoru, probably the sleepiest of anyone gathered; and Takeshi, as always accompanied closely by Wakana.

They each head towards Sho’s palace, moving past the Aetherians and reaching the front of the group, ascending the steps to a platform that had been constructed the night before. Once they reach the top, they turn to face the crowd.

Eboshi Smug: Hey everyone! Thanks for meeting with us so early -- from one night owl to another, I know how tough it can be to drag yourself outta bed in the morning.

Kaoru Happy: We will try to keep this get-together as short as possible. There is much that, *yawn*, needs to be done, after all.

Takeshi Talking: So, let’s not waste any more time and start describing what we would like you to do for us. Eboshi-sama, would you like to start?

Warlord 1 - EboshiEdit

Eboshi Icon: Sure! ‘Kay, first off, Sato-san told me that I should tell you guys a bit more info about my land and what it looks like. Guess so you know what to expect when you come? Eh, no biggie, I don’t mind talking about it.

Eboshi Talking: My province, the Byakko Province, isn’t very large, least not compared to the others, but what we lack in grass and trees, we make up for in rocks. People live in houses made of stone on the rare patches of dirt, and my palace, a big, honking thing of stone and steel, is specifically tucked against the foot of the mountain, shrouded in shadows.

Eboshi Icon: Like I said at the tea party, my lands are well-known for their mines. Because my territory is at the base of the mountain range up north, we’ve got tons of caves, dug into the mountain. Some are long, some are short, but all are dark; we rely on Isas-san for his technology to make the tunnels, and we repay him in constant supplies of metal.

Eboshi Serious: In fact, that’s what my task is all about. Bandits keep messing with my shipments. Reports are that it’s a bunch of different ‘mons led by a Pawniard, with them is a Koffing who does a Smokescreen to help them get away. They don’t destroy the shipment, just scatter them all over the place so it takes my messengers for-ever to find them all again.

Eboshi Annoyed: Total pain in my butt, by the way.

Eboshi Serious: I probably don’t need to say, I need this to stop. Your mission, should you choose to accept it -- heh, I’ve always wanted to say that -- is to catch these punks in the act and bring them to me and Sato-san for questioning.

Eboshi Icon: There’s this path that goes through the mountains, kinda treacherous but it’s the fastest way to Isas’ lands -- that’s the one my messengers use to bring the metal shipments to him. Your best bet to find these punks is to accompany the shipment in secret, maybe by hiding in the carts, and then, just when they try to attack -- BAM! Jump out and get ‘em!

Eboshi Talking: But, eh, don’t get ‘em too hard, we still need to talk to these guys, after all! Just rough ‘em a bit, let ‘em know that messing with our shipments is not okay, but then bring ‘em back here so I can have a word with them. And don’t let the shipment get damaged during the fight; it still needs to get to Isas-san.

Eboshi Icon: Oh, one more thing: like I said earlier, there are TONS of mines and caves in my province, so it’s not hard to get lost. Try to remember what paths you take and be careful, although most of the tunnels are secure, some of them likely have loose rocks and stalactites in them.

Eboshi Serious: I don’t want anyone getting hurt or lost, so if you spend too long inside, I will send in someone after you, either some of Sato-san’s warriors or experienced miners, either would be able to escort you out.

Eboshi Smug: Well, I think that’s all I needed to cover! Good luck everyone, and thanks for helping out!

Task Goal: Catch the bandits, especially the Pawniard and Koffing, who’ve been messing with Eboshi’s shipments of metal to Isas. Bring the bandits back to her once you’ve found them. (And make sure that the metal shipment’s in one piece too, don’t want any of that to get lost along the way).

Warlord 2 - KaoruEdit

Kaoru Icon: I suppose I’ll go next. I want to be quick so I don- *yawn* so I don’t drift off.

Kaoru Talking: Well, I don’t think any of you will be surprised to hear that I’d like help preparing medicine and other healing techniques. But don’t worry, dears, I won’t ask any of you to become professional healers, you can leave that me and my students; however, you all can certainly help us greatly by collecting some herbs for us.

Kaoru Icon: My home, the Suzaku Province, is mainly comprised of grassy fields, particularly along the coast, but several light forests of birch trees can be found throughout it, particularly up near the cliffs where my province meets Eboshi-sama’s. These birch forests are unique to my province and many medicinal herbs grow inside them.

Kaoru Talking: While any of the herbs from these forests can be useful, there is one specific type of herbal root that grows on the cliffs of the mountains near the forests that I would like you to bring back for me. It is called the Dong Quai Root and it has been used in medicinal creams in Sazanami and Gāng Tiě for countless years. It is very versatile and can be used to treat headaches, fatigue, inflammation and nerve pain.

Kaoru Icon: The root itself is a tawny brown colour with a short, bulbous base and long, thick strands that run several centimeters from the base. You’ll know the root when you see it, it’s rather distinctive, though you will likely only see the base sticking out of the ground and will need to remove the rest of the root.

Kaoru Happy: If you dears could go through the forest, get to the cliffs of the mountains, and bring some of this herb to me, it would greatly help myself and the other healers in my province to create more balms and medicines for everyone to use.

Kaoru Determined: Ooh, I do suppose I should warn you, dears. Although there’s nothing harmful in any of the birch forests in my province, many of them do have bad cases of tsuta urushi covering their floors. Tsuta urushi is a type of urushiol producing ivy here in Sazanami whose leaves grow in clusters of threes, it can be identified further by its large, glossy, oval shaped leaves, that end in same points; those who touch it may get a rash that they will want to scratch, which will only cause the rash to spread and make them want to scratch it more. So, while the plant itself isn’t harmful, it is quite a bother and there is an awful lot of it in those forests, so do watch your steps as you travel through them.

Kaoru Happy: I do believe that is everything I could use. Thank you again, my dears, for all of your help! Please do watch out for that tsuta urushi or, if you do end up touching it, let me know so I can give you something for your rash. Remember: leaves of three, leave it be!

Task Goal: Head through the birch forests to get to the mountain cliff that separate Kaoru’s province with Eboshi’s and find Dong Quai Roots and bring them back to Kaoru. (Try not to touch any of that itchy ivy).

Warlord 3 - TakeshiEdit

Takeshi Talking: I shall wrap things up then -- and do not worry, I will be brief.

Takeshi Icon: If you recall, I am the warlord of the Nansei Province. My lands are known for their nutrient-rich soil, perfect for thick, healthy pine forests. As such, carpentry is a common trade in my province, and our carpenters often travel throughout Sazanami to practice their craft.

Takeshi Talking: And that is your task: escort one of our carpenters to another territory and assist them with their job.

Takeshi Icon: Now, for the details. The carpenter, a Combusken named Kiri, needs to get to one of Hanako-sama’s bathhouses. Turns out, part of the roof has caved in, crashing into the bath and breaking it; now it won’t fill up with water, not to mention the roof is open to the elements, and for a bathhouse, that’s not a good thing. So, she’s being sent in to fix both the roof and the tub.

Takeshi Serious: Normally, I’d just send Wakana to escort her… but I would like you to join them on the trip, as an extra pair of hands and eyes. If you, uh, have hands, that is. You know what I mean.

Takeshi Talking: Anyway, once you’ve arrived at the bathhouse, Kiri will work on fixing the roof and tub, and she’ll give you some simple tasks to do to help her. Fetch a hammer and nail, carry in buckets of water, that kind of thing. She’ll do most of the hard work, you’re just there to make the job a bit faster.

Takeshi Annoyed: However, while Kiri is a talented carpenter, she can be a bit… ah, hyperactive. She likes to go exploring during out-of-territory jobs, bit of a chatterbox too, and should she end up running into Hanako-sama… well, it wouldn’t be pretty for anybody.

Takeshi Talking: So, in summary, make sure Kiri keeps working, and all should be well.

Takeshi Serious: Wakana will lead the way -- you’ll do that at least, right dear?

The Unfezant sets her beak firmly and nods.

Takeshi Determined: Good, that’s good… Then I suppose that’s everything. I trust that the trip will go smoothly for everyone.

Task Goal: Go with Wakana and Kiri to one of Hanako’s bathhouses and help the carpenter fix the broken roof and tub. She’ll have you do some small tasks for the job, for example, getting a hammer, fetching water, etc. (Make sure Kiri doesn’t get distracted, or she’ll end up annoying Hanako -- which we don’t want to happen)

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