Doji Haruko has been sent to obtain crucial information from Asako Karin, the diplomat from the Phoenix. In order to gain this, Doji Haruko knows that she will need to earn Karin’s trust.
Asako Karin is a Rank 2 Asako Loremaster, and has a Willpower of 2. As such her existing Sway Value to Doji Haruko is 4. Consequently, Haruko, being rank 1 and with an equal amount of willpower, has a Sway value of 3 to Asako Karin.
She also spends the greater part of a day working on composing a lovely invitation note using lightly scented paper, folded in an ornate manner as to convey her sincerity and respect for the higher ranking Courtier.
She receives a favorable reply later in the week, and a date is set for the visit.
In order to improve her chances, Haruko needs to find a way in order to make a good impression. She understands that Karin is from the Phoenix Clan, and so decides that perhaps a peaceful Tea Ceremony is in order. Borrowing some funds from Doji Tomiko, Haruko procures the necessary materials, and has some servants help set up in a small room with a view of the Doji Holding’s gardens.
Karin arrives with her Shiba Yojimbo, and Haruko receives her guest with as much grace as she could muster. Her performance of the Tea Ceremony was successful, and she capped it off with a song to celebrate the kami.
Karin on the other hand conducts herself flawlessly with the proper etiquette, and caps off Haruko’s song with a recital of poetry about the deeds of Lady Doji.
This is where both characters establish Impressions. Haruko’s performance and her being able to conduct the tea ceremony has sufficiently made it so that Karin will be more likely to accept further invitations. Likewise, Karin’s performance has moved Haruko and earned the younger courtier’s respect.
It is at this point that Haruko respectfully raises the issue of a possibility of an exchange of information. Karin probes the questions carefully, well aware that there is a political agenda behind this.
This is the real social contest, where Haruko’s Courtier skill is put up against Karin’s Etiquette. Should Haruko succeed in this roll, her Doji Courtier technique grants her a free Raise, increasing the number of strikes against Karin’s sway value to 2, leaving only 2 left.
After much discussion Karin concludes by saying that she will reflect upon the Crane’s need. Haruko understands that Karin is still not quite so convinced, and so starts working on how she can set up a second encounter with the Asako Loremaster without rehashing her inital approach. Thankfully the good impression with Karin will at least insure that the Loremaster will be open to meeting her again, and hopefully soon.
If Haruko had any more funds, she could further improve her chances by offering a perfect Gift for Karin. That could have lowered the Sway Value by 1 at the very least. In addition, making a raise on her Courtier skill roll could have given her an extra Strike to get the job done in one visit.