A Horse with No Name.   Posted by Little Teacher.Group: 0
Little Teacher
 GM, 4965 posts
Sat 31 Jan 2015
at 08:33
A Horse with No Name
A horse is a horse
Of course, of course...
                                                 -Mr Ed theme song
Little Teacher
 GM, 4966 posts
Sat 31 Jan 2015
at 08:42
Lixue
Iamiko waves her fan at the railing of the balcony. "A lovely view neh? This is pretty country."

You manage to stiffle a wince as you nod. Your morning routine with Juhi was...energetic. Actually he pointed out several flaws in your katas with the end of a quarterstaff. Your dignity was bruised worse than your body. But oh. Exercise can make one stiff...

You freshened up and hurried over to the Governor's palace for tea with Miya Iamiko. She greeted you cheerfully when the maid brought you out onto a fourth floor balcony. The view Iamiko has indicated is quite pretty. This particular balcony overlooks the south of the city. Past the picturesque houses and the high wall, you can see the river and forest beyond. Iamiko nods to the maid attending you after tea cups are filled and then turns back to you. "If one were to select a horse for a ride, Iuchi-san...what qualities should one look for in the stables?  "
Little Teacher
 GM, 4967 posts
Sat 31 Jan 2015
at 08:57
Jubei
The Heart's Ease is not the classiest name you have ever seen for a geisha house. But then again, this is not what you would call a fine establishment.

True to his word, Junko arranged for you to have two rooms. One is a corner room where you will met with this contact. The other is right next door. Any treachery can quickly be answered with a mere shout to your men.

The Mama-san looks you over as if you were a fish she was considering purchasing from a fisherman's stand before showing you to the chamber at the end of the 'Hall of Delight'

"You have excellent taste asking for Ushi," Mama-san says as she leads the way down the hall. "My best girl. She is truly a cloud come down to earth and given human form. Please put your cares away, Akodo-dono..." Mama-san smiles as she slides open the door for you to enter.

Ushi is a small woman. Pretty but not radiant as one would expect a geisha to be. But she moves quite gracefully. Ushi is singing softly as you enter. Her voice is lovely. Ushi hs brewed fresh tea. The scent of fresh flowers mixes with the steam and washes over you.

Ushi bows and bids you sit. "Please be welcome here in the Floating World Akodo-dono. Would you care for tea or sake?"

You hear your men being shown into the room next door. Good. You are not alone. This is especially comforting seeing as how you had to leave your blades at the door. It is fairly common for samurai to be asked to leave their swords at the front door of any such establishment. And sure enough, you had to leave yours.

This cntact had best not be a waste of time. Junko had said to ask for Ushi when ypu arrived. Well. You did and here you are. But thus far it is just you and the geisha.

Ushi pours you a refreshment. "Akodo-dono...are you tense? Why not let me rub your shoulders?" Ushi smiles again. "While I do, we can talk about my brothers who joined the bandits. I was told this is what you would want to hear. Neh?"
Akodo Jubei
 player, 98 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Sat 31 Jan 2015
at 14:33
Re: Jubei
The Geisha herself was the contact? Improbable, but not impossible. Improbable mostly because betraying one's brothers simply wasn't DONE. At least, not among those of great honor. Still...

"Ah? Proceed, then. As needed."

With both the shoulder rub and the information. Might as well enjoy her skills while he's here. If she's not the prettiest one, she's probably highly favored in the house for other reasons. Perhaps he'd find that out along with his information.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 904 posts
Sun 1 Feb 2015
at 01:51
Re: Lixue


Lixue considers for a moment.  It seems strange to Lixue that Miya-sama does not have a personal mount that she brought with her.  And her question is..odd, as a stable does not turn out horses in one stamp--it is a not a potter's shop.  Even if there is certain kind of training done, horses each have their own personality.

She offers thoughtfully, "If I were choosing a stable, I would look for one that was clean, well-ordered, and where the horses looked happy to see people visiting them.  But selecting a stable is not the same as selecting a horse.

 Are you looking for a horse to ride while you are here?  Or are you looking for a personal mount?"
  Lixue asks politely, but with interest.  The subject is horses, after all.
Little Teacher
 GM, 4973 posts
Mon 2 Feb 2015
at 05:47
Re: Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 4):

Ushi begins to rub your shoulders. "Tauruchi-sama was not specific as to what you wished to know. So I will begin at the begining. My parents sold me to Mama-sama when I was young. My brothers, Hao and Ngyuen, would sneak up to the back gate to bring me small presents though. We would talk and I would learn the news of home from them. They took jobs on a river barge every summer. They would sail down to the Mori as part of a crew that would sail back rafts of logs. It was on these trips that they were recruited. From what they told me, there were men among the crews who would speak of better money by..." She hunts for the phrase. "...'taxing' merchants along the road. Hao wanted no part of it. But when Ngyuen joined such a crew, he followed to look after our younger brother. Let me refill your cup." She ceases her wonderful massage to pour you fresh tea and then continues both the shoulder rub and her story. "Until two years ago, these crews were small groups. They did not act as one. Honto, they spent more time feuding amongst themselves than working together. Two years ago someone began consolidating them." She moves from your shoulders to your upper back. "I heard from others that it started with the porters. Someone began to convince the porters to take a little from the goods they carried. The gangs working the roads began to become more unified in their tactics. Robbery was suddenly forbidden in place of lifting small amounts of cargo when merchants stopped at Inns or checkpoints. It was made to be known violent crime would not be tolerated. Only small crime was allowed. Those who disagreed vanished. A year ago I heard from Hao. Nguyen was on of those who opposed the new policy."

She says nothing for a moment and then continues. "Is this the sort of information you are seeking?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 4974 posts
Mon 2 Feb 2015
at 05:49
Re: Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 5):

Iamiko laughs. "Sorry. I was not clear. I meant when I look at the horses in the stables, what would you recommend I look for in the animals."
Akodo Jubei
 player, 101 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Mon 2 Feb 2015
at 06:12
Re: Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 6):

Jubei was relaxing under her ministrations.

"That is an excellent start. But there is another piece of information I'm looking for. The bandits are lead by ronin...one of whom is one of the better strategists we've seen. Do you know his name?"

Much could be learned by the name of the ronin who leads them.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 907 posts
Tue 3 Feb 2015
at 01:53
Re: Lixue

"Of course,"  Lixue says a little sheepishly, "I'm sure you have your own stables in such a large estate.  After all, what else are you going to do with all this room?  Make a room just for origami?

The Unicorn looks thoughtful again, giving Miya-sama a serious glance. She chooses her words equally thoughtfully given the weighty subject.  Lixue would herself look for more subtle signs of horse-language, but not all of these signs are easy to put into words.  And few outside the Unicorn appreciated such expertise.  "I would suggest looking for a horse that is interested in the goings on of the stable.  One who comes to the front of the stall, with his ears forward in a friendly mien, bright-eyed--interested to see you.  It is difficult to know what horse would suit you without knowing you better, but those are general things that suggest a fit, healthy horse--one that faces the challenges you set before him with alacrity." 

She smiles with mild amusement., "I doubt anyone is going to offer you a horse that is second-rate. How would they dare?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 4978 posts
Tue 3 Feb 2015
at 04:34
Re: Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 8):

The geisha thinks a moment. "I have heard the name Okau...but not in the dontext of being a leader." She stops rubbing your back and bows. "I can ask...but I have a request. My brother. Hao. I would like to beg for his pardon fir the crimes he has committed thus far."
Little Teacher
 GM, 4979 posts
Tue 3 Feb 2015
at 04:36
Re: Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 9):

The princess laughs. "Oh you would be surprised." She shrugs. "Many wish to give me a...tamed mount. One who will canter softly so as not to cause my royal bones too much discomfort." She sighs. "One longs to gallop and one is forced to trot. Do you know the feeling Iuchi-san?"
Akodo Jubei
 player, 105 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Tue 3 Feb 2015
at 05:09
Re: Lixue
Jubei considers...

"The crimes are somewhat severe. However, if he brings me the leader who's organizing their strategy, I will ask for clemency."

Which will probably still be some prison time or at the very least community service of some kind, but it's not instant death anymore.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 908 posts
Tue 3 Feb 2015
at 18:13
Re: Lixue

"Of course, one may wish to gallop and yet be without even the consolation of trotting.  Even a soft cushion is less appealing than a saddle, at times." Lixue agrees.

She offers pleasantly, "I am happy to ride with you, if you wish company that can stand a gallop.  I have often seen that placid steeds are slow because they have lost hope in being allowed to do anything interesting.  If anyone can inspire some liveliness, I'm sure you can..otherwise...why surely one of the generals would be happy to lend you a more lively horse.  I imagine any of the gathered armies keep spirited horses."

Lixue asks innocently, "Do any of the officers seem to enjoy riding? or even hunting?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 4981 posts
Wed 4 Feb 2015
at 05:04
Kambe
"Good morning Hida-san. Have you eatten rice?"

It is mid morning. You breakfasted and bathed...the Inn has a suprisingly fine bathing facility...and seen to your administrative tasks. Imioni had sent word to meet her in the common room and now she is seated at a table, drinking tea and snacking on a small bowl of preserved plums. She bows. "I received word from Ujina-san. He will be delayed but should be here soon. Would you like some tea?" She signals a maid. "I wanted to apologize as well if I was too forward last night. I was tired and...well. It was an interesting evening."

This message was last updated by the GM at 05:04, Wed 04 Feb 2015.