Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions.   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: 0
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1309 posts
Tue 10 Mar 2015
at 05:29
Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
The Tournament of the Emperor's Favored.  It was, perhaps, the most diverse tournament in the Empire. Not as narrowly focused on specific skills, as the Emerald or Jade Championships, but not filled with talented amateurs, as the Topaz Championship, the Tournament of the Emperor's Favored was a showcase of diversity and talent.

This year it was being held on the Golden Sun Plain--a special dispensation having been offered by Toturi himself.  Overlooked by the harsh lands of the Sparrow, it was a scenic venue for the arriving contestants.

OOC: make an awareness/courtier roll, the gossip emphasis applies
Asahina Byako
 player, 48 posts
 Crane diplomat
Tue 10 Mar 2015
at 17:13
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
The sheer variety of talents on display was quite intriguing to Byako. She knew that she was probably eclipsed in all respects for any skills the various contests would test, but that did not stop her from wanting to try her hand at some; if she could make an honorable showing, then she would probably be invited to the parties anyway, even if she did lose.

Besides, what better way to witness the thrill of victory and agony of defeat than to be right there amongst the contestants! Perhaps she could even learn a thing or two as well.
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 3 posts
Wed 11 Mar 2015
at 05:00
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Awareness/Courtier: 27
OOC: I'll get my intro put together tomorrow night.

Kitsune Daichi
 player, 1 post
Wed 11 Mar 2015
at 05:01
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Awareness/Courtier: 15
OOC: Ditto!

Otomo Hajime
 player, 103 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Sat 14 Mar 2015
at 10:05
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Otomo Hajime made a special effort to arrive extra early so as to be on hand for the setup of the Tournament grounds as well as having an opportunity to observe the various contestants and spectators arriving from across the Empire.  Hajime felt the weight of his responsibility as he had been honored with the duty to represent the Imperial Interest at The Tournament of the Emperor's Favored.  It was believed that the Son of Heaven himself had taken a personal interest in seeing that the Tournament went smoothly and it was no secret that the Imperial Coffers were supplying a substantial amount of the needed funding to make the Tournament a reality.  So there were plenty of reasons for Hajime to be observant and active involved in the various aspects of the Tournament (though he was mindful of the fact that the Tournament was an affair of the Minor Clans, so while he represented the Imperial Interest in the Tournament, Hajime was careful not to appear to "take charge" but instead to stand back and allow the Minor Clans to run the Tournament as they saw best).
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 4 posts
Mon 16 Mar 2015
at 23:05
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
On his own, Kitsune Shoji wouldn't warrant a second glance.  Physically, the man was unexceptional - average build and height, with dark hair and eyes.  Up close, one might notice a myriad of small scars about his hands, the marks of his trade.  Rather, what drew attention to Shoji was the company he kept.

Almost inseparable, Shoji's constant companion could sometimes be overlooked as the small fox blended almost perfectly with the redish brown of the Kitsune's kimono.  Beyond being a simple pet, the fox was a clear symbol of Shoji's talents.  There were many in the empire skilled enough to train dogs or horses, but fewer capable of capturing the attention and loyalty of the empire's more independent creatures.

Considerably more visible than Shoji or his fox was the other creature that escorted Shoji everywhere: Kitsune Daichi.  Quite the opposite of Shoji, it was impossible to miss Daichi.  A massive, chiseled form of muscle and sinew, Daichi stood out in any crowd.  The foursome was completed by Daichi's own pet dog; a gift from Shoji.

Normally as a minor clan, the Fox relied on being quiet and unnoticed in the courts.  The Tournament of the Emporer's Favored, however, was a display of diversity and talent.  Shoji's talent wasn't one that could be accomplished quickly, so for the tournament he brought along one of his works.  Lumbering behind the Kitsune and their companions was a five hundred pound example of Shoji's talents: a brown bear.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 680 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Tue 17 Mar 2015
at 01:57
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
The Twins walked in together. They were dressed in fine kimonos with fans tucked in their belt, identical smiles on their lips. They looked exactly alike.

And it was on purpose.

[OOC: Apparently Kasumi is quite the gossip today: 35. Sakura "only" had a 28. Which is quite good, actually, considering their low skill levels ...

Just in case any advantages apply, I didn't include any of them.

21:53, Today: Daidoji Kasumi rolled 35 using 6d10, dropping the 2 lowest rolls, rerolling max with rolls of 3,6,1,6,(10+5)15,8.
21:52, Today: Daidoji Sakura rolled 28 using 6d10, dropping the 2 lowest rolls, rerolling max with rolls of 3,6,8,8,6,1. Awareness/Courtier (Gossip).]

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 314 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Tue 17 Mar 2015
at 02:07
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Bayushi Kenshin entered, his wife on his arm. Kenshin was generally a little more "hooked in" to the courts, and most assumed that this was his wife's doing; as a former Seppun, she did have more contacts than most. In fact, it was nothing more than part of his training - Hotori's way. The pair had court fans tucked in their belt (though one could never tell if these beauties were steel lined) and smiled as they walked and talked.

[OOC: Awareness/Courtier 32. Thought about using Hotori's Blade, but I'll save that for a more important roll.]
Isawa Shema
 player, 4 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Thu 19 Mar 2015
at 18:51
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Unlike many of the others who had arrived in pairs with clansmen or relatives, Shema arrived alone.  His pace appeared unhurried, his clothes were in fine order, despite the great distance from the Phoenix lands.  The large pack on his back and the scroll case and wakizashi at his waist all bumped gently as he walked, yet he covered the ground with astounding alacrity.  As he neared the area, he paused for a moment, then continued at a more mundane pace.

He looked about at all the other competitors and visitors, as well as the hosts.  It was truly beautiful to see such varied representation from all across the empire come together to compete and celebrate diversity.


14:30, Today: Isawa Shema rolled 9 using 3d10, rerolling max with rolls of 1,3,5. Awareness.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1322 posts
Sat 21 Mar 2015
at 06:19
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions


The Golden Sun Plains were busy in the extreme.  While one hesitated to call the Tournament a last minute endeavor, it seemed clear that chaos was the order of the day.  There was a small cluster of tents for the Tournament officials and several tent camps, one for each of the Minor Clans.  Fortunately, the Crane holding of Mura Sabishii Toshi was nearby, and they were able to house most of the Great Clan participants.

There are four primary locations:

The Judging Tents - this is where the Tournament Officials gather for meeting and to debate disputes.  If you intend to serve in an official capacity in the Tournament, you should go here.  You may participate in any event in which you are not officially involved.

The Tournament Stage - a misnomer, since it's really just a big open field.  This is where participants compete in competitions such as the Sumai or Kenjutsu event, and get instructions for wider ranging events, like hunting.

The Minor Clan Camps - actually lots of different places, clustered in the same general area.  The Mantis, Wasp, and Centipede each have their own tent cluster, even though they technically all belong to the same Clan now.

Mura Sabishii Toshi- a moderately sized port trade city.  Most of the Great Clan participants are staying here, though you may choose to stay anywhere you like.  The Tortoise maintain offices in this city.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:21, Sun 22 Mar 2015.

Otomo Hajime
 player, 105 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Sun 22 Mar 2015
at 04:18
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
While Otomo Hajime had made arrangements to stay among the Great Clans in Mura Sabishii Toshi prior to the start of the Tournament, Hajime was considering possibly shifting his "residence" throughout the Tournament so that he slept at a new location each night.  In particular, he was thinking of moving among the various Camps of the Minor Clans so that he would have a chance to reside with and enjoy the hospitality of the various Minor Clans (and thus show Imperial interest in the Minor Clans without showing particular favoritism to any one Clan as he moved somewhere new each night).

Being the Imperial Representative for the Tournament, it was only natural for Otomo Hajime to be readily found among The Judging Tents where the Tournament Officials were gathered.  Hajime intended to volunteer to serve as in an official capacity as a Tournament Official for various events that he would not be participating in (though Hajime did intend to participate in at least a select few of the Tournament events).
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 5 posts
Mon 23 Mar 2015
at 05:15
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Onnisan, what do you see?" Shoji asked as they descended the path toward the camp.  People - mostly samurai Shoji figured - were milling about below.

Daichi glanced at Shoji and shrugged.

"It can't be too bad, can it?" he sniffed, not to try to catch a scent, but because he could feel a cold coming on.  That was the worst thing about coming to places like this: getting sick.  In time spent alone in Kitsune Mori one rarely ran into people and sickness failed to spread.  "At least it should be clean.  Not as fetid as Toshi Ranbo."

The menagerie worked their way onward, looking for the Fox encampment.  Shoji quietly hoped that it was on the outside, a distance from the main paths through the camp.  He wasn't concerned about his own animals - they were well conditioned - but he wanted to get off the road.  Rokugani ponies tended to get skittish around bears, which made their travel slow.  They ended up spending most of their time traveling a distance from the road in parallel to the rest of the traffic.

The tournament grounds were a little larger than he expected.  It gave him some pause. Shoji had at least he or his brother to be able to compete in each of the events.  Now he wondered if it was a great idea.  There were a few of the competitions he thought they could do very well in, but some others that they only had rudimentary training.

"Let's settle in, and then head to the judging tent.  At least we can find out the order of things."  There was at least one event that Shoji and Daichi had responsibility to help with.
Asahina Byako
 player, 50 posts
 Crane diplomat
Mon 23 Mar 2015
at 16:36
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
All these people, surely someone was squabbling.

Byako tried to get to a vantage point where she could see the majority of the people and what they were engaged in at the moment. She looked for a husband being berated for spending too much this month or sparring partners having a dispute about technique or even a child being scolded by a child. Rarer, but even more exciting would be to spot a young couple courting or an artist passionately creating. Soon enough she spotted something and headed that way with due haste. On her way there she considered how best to unobtrusively observe her entertainment.

After a few hours of entertaining herself thus, she considered that it may be wise to determine what each of the events were, and which she would be best suited to enter. Perhaps the judging tents would be the best place for this. Someone there would know, and probably they could be persuaded to tell her.
Isawa Shema
 player, 5 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Mon 23 Mar 2015
at 18:38
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shema got his bearings and headed for the judge's tent at a brisk, but unhurried pace.  He had several things to get sorted out and believed that the best place to do so would be there.  When he got there, he sought out a non-Moshi official to speak with.  Not that all Moshi were bad, in fact the majority of them were honorable persons who stood head and shoulders above even many Great Clan samurai when it came to piety.  Unfortunately, there was a branch of the family that were not the shining beacons they ought to be.

When he catches one, he bows a hair deeper than would normally be required, in recognition of the man's position here at the competition.  "Ah, Sparrow-sama.  Thank you, on behalf of the Phoenix, for the tournament you have prepared.  I know you already have plenty of herbalists and healers available to you, but I wanted to offer my services as well, should you find them convenient.  I myself am no great healer, but when offered soon enough, the kami have been known to answer my prayers to heal many things."

He gives the official time to answer, then asks, "Also, aside from Iaijutsu duels, in which even a shugenja would be considered somewhat questionable for using the aid of the Kami, what is the extent to which the Kami are permitted to aid competitors in your competition."
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 319 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Mon 30 Mar 2015
at 01:15
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[OOC: My understanding is that you have to have signed up for all of the tournaments to have a chance at winning the Championship?]

Bayushi Kenshin knew that he was not suited for most of these tournaments, but still ... he had to enter them. All of them. Even the ones he wasn't suited for.

No, especially the ones he wasn't suited for.

He and his wife wandered to the various event tents, signing up for for Iaijutsu (which would come as no surprise to anyone), and then Personal Combat.  Then to ... herbalism? And then, one by one, to all of the others. Just what, someone might ask, was the Mask of Honor doing entering all of these tournaments ...?

Was it a Scorpion Plot?

Sort of.

Kenshin needed some ... "brownie points". It would help if the Minor Clans liked him ... easier to be invited to the Imperial Guard that way. And if he accidentally won?

Well, that would be good to.