Lingers on the Tongue.   Posted by Little Teacher.Group: 0
Akodo Jubei
 player, 281 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 6 Nov 2015
at 04:14
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 386):

Jubei considered and...

"No. But we're going to deal with it now. Shujenga business, I'm not going to have details till they look it over."
Hida Kambe
 player, 373 posts
Fri 6 Nov 2015
at 17:39
Re: Hida Kambe
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 382):

"I was accosted by what I believe in folklore is called a tengu, a crow spirit. It claimed responsibility for wounding the Oriole woman, it had an interest in getting me to work for it. It says a battle is coming and it wanted me on it's side. When I finally got it to admit what it wants, it asked me to steal a banner. the banner was apparently brought to this city by Goro in the last week or so." Kambe said, relatively quickly. Fully expecting his master to dismiss him as insane.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1074 posts
Fri 6 Nov 2015
at 18:23
Re: Iuchi Lixue

Lixue leans against Raiden for a moment, taking comfort in the silky warmth of his coat.  She strokes him fondly. "If only people were so easy to understand, Raiden."

"The matches were interesting, I wish I had a quicker eye.  I believe I may have missed some of the nuances of the situation.  Also, a snake managed to find its way on the field between matches, just before Doji-san and Akodo-san took their turn."  Lixue answers a little subdued, as she writes her acceptance to the Lion Breakfast.   She is neat and careful in her calligraphy, as befits her training.    "I hope your evening was peaceful.  Oh, has Ide-sama arrived yet?"

She considers aloud. "Do you think there is time for a light ride before the breakfast? It would be lovely to collect myself before I start the day. "
Doji Arata
 player, 1103 posts
Sat 7 Nov 2015
at 04:53
Doji Arata
Arata glances upwards, gauging the position of the sun. Deciding that the time can be spared, he walks up to the shrine, bowing and clapping his hands twice in ritual prayer. He takes out a small jar of incense which he places among the other offerings.

"May they have peace and dreamless sleep," he whispers to the kami as he straightens up, ready to leave.
Little Teacher
 GM, 5593 posts
Sun 8 Nov 2015
at 00:42
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 388):

Sheikei nods. "Send word if there is anything we can do Akodo-sama."

The soldier leads you to your horse. And then with four men surrounding you, you are off. One of the men is the soldier who brought the report. He rides beside you and gives you the details once you are outside of camp.

 "I was with the detail that was assigned to track Fizu-san. We picked up his trail mid afternoon. It seemed he was headed back towards the city. However, he turned northwest unexpectedly and rode to a nearby branch of the river. From what we could tell he met someone who had arrived at the spot on a raft. There were two men there besides Fizu-san. Whatever business he had was performed and then he headed back towards camp.

"It is odd but we believe he caught back up to the baggage train for the caravan. However instead of rejoining, he rode alongside. About an hour before we broke for camp he headed east, crossing the trail behind the scouts and moving parallel and up along the opposite flank of the caravan. Then he turned slightly further east and ride back the three ri. We believe he had planned to set up camp away from the sight of the sentries. It was then his horse...well. The horse must have thrown him. His neck seemed to have been snapped. The horse then went at him. The body is largely unrecognizable. We have had to establish his identity based on the location of scars he was known to have and a couple of items on his person."


The scout leads you to a small hollow between two hills. The horse is the first thing you see. The scouts have it lashed to a tree, a short rope trapping a bit into it's mouth. Blood covers it's mouth and mane and hooves. Bit's of human hair and skin hang from it's teeth. One of it's large eyes rolls around to watch you approach. It may be a trick of the  light from the lanterns the scouts have set up, but the horse almost seems to smile when it sees you. It definitely whinnies. Your own mount stops and has to be goaded the last few yards.

What is left of Fizu lays at the base of a large willow. The remains are barely recognizable. A torso with large chunks missing from the thighs and buttocks. A torso that was obviously danced upon by the horse, snapping ribs like branches and smoothing the organs to a thick, goofy paste. The face has been chewed off the skull. In short, Ikoma Fizu will not be answering questions.
Little Teacher
 GM, 5594 posts
Sun 8 Nov 2015
at 00:53
Re: Hida Kambe
In reply to Hida Kambe (msg # 389):

Kihi-Sama studies you a moment and then turns. "Koichi-san!" The yojimbo slides back the door to the chamber he was waiting in and bows. He glances at you and then at Kihi.

Kihi picks up his cup. "We will all need sake. Lots of it. And get your damned dumplings. Kihi glances your way. Koichi-kun and I had a bet. I thought it was yokai."

Koichi shrugs. "Ghosts are never so circumspect Kihi-sama. Plus they always smell. No one ever thinks it. But ghost's smell." Koichi says this last bit to you and then goes to the suite entrance to flag a maid to bring the requested refreshments.

Kihi makes a grumpy face. "He will be even more insufferable now that he was right. Damn." The one armed diplomat looms at you. "And what is with that look? We fight goblins and one since we come stinking out of the womb. Did you think I would doubt you? That is almost insulting. So. What do we do?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 5595 posts
Sun 8 Nov 2015
at 00:57
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 390):

"There has been no word from Lord Ide-sama. No. I would imagine it will be tomorrow before he arrives. And yes. I think a quick ride can be arranged. Would you like me to wake you?". Risa smiles. "Now Lady Iuchi-sama. Why not tell me what is wrong? If I have learned how to do anything in these past months, it is to tell when something weighs on your mind."
Little Teacher
 GM, 5596 posts
Sun 8 Nov 2015
at 01:07
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 391):

"And why should they be so fortunate?"

The voice is from the little wrinkled fat man with the bamboo fishing pole who is seated in the tree branch overhead. Yes. That one. He looks to be your father's age with wrinkles in some places and fat rolls in others. His green hair is bound in a tight knot on the back or his head. He rests his large, ample chin on one hand and regards you with his almost as large yellow eyes. He moves the bamboo pole off his shoulder, casts the line beyond you, and then lays the rod on his knee.

"Do the dead deserve peace just because they are dead? What if he lead a scoundrel's life? What if she was a shrew to her husband and children? What if they dishonored their parents? Or chopped them into pieces and threw them in the stewpot? If you give your prayers so freely, why not say one for my fishing? If I do not catch a fish soon, I will need to dishonor my parents by chopping them up and placing them in the stewpot. I have mouths to feed. Your people have placed their lily pads on horses and packed up their flies. Are you moving to a new pond?"
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1075 posts
Sun 8 Nov 2015
at 02:28
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 394):

Lixue brightens at the prospect of a ride in the morning, "Yes, it will be better to enjoy the quiet tomorrow." At least she will have a quiet hour with Raiden to train seriously.  This ride is much more like a garden stroll than real riding.

She sighs at Risa's gentle questioning, Lixue pauses to examine her feelings.  For the Ide school, how one feels is not a simple question. "It is just..something unexpected happened, and well understanding another person seems like unending mountain at times.  I am wary of filling the empty canvas of my understanding with a gilded dream and not knowledge of a real person.  This seems particularly true tonight."  It is not necessary to say who "he" is.  Risa is too observant to not know that Lixue brightens in the presence of a certain magistrate.

She adds a little briskly, "I would prefer to write sigh-filled poetry for the rest of the evening, but there was more strange things that happened this evening.  Indeed, I may have some questions for our groom about it--because frankly I'm not sure I believe my own guesses.
    It made me a little worried about these Tortoise. I don't suppose you heard anything about what was in the box they lost?"
Lixue frowns, now more worried about her investigative puzzle.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:18, Sun 08 Nov 2015.

Akodo Jubei
 player, 282 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Sun 8 Nov 2015
at 06:26
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 392):

Jubei was fairly disturbed...but made way for the Shujenga.

This HAD to be an act of magic, because this just wasn't natural.
Doji Arata
 player, 1104 posts
Mon 9 Nov 2015
at 04:45
Doji Arata
"The crane is a seasonal creature, and the season here is past," Arata says, taking out a sheaf of origami paper. He picks a red one and starts folding it idly as he speaks.
"Moving is a good thing for the living - it gives us the illusion of agency. Fish too are always moving, but the best way to catch them is to simply sit still and wait for one to seal its own fate. Is that not deliciously ironic? I am thinking it is the same with humans, as much as we like to deny it."

He pauses to scrutinize his finished origami figure; a koi fish. With a small piece of charcoal he scribbles sloppily the character for "luck" on its back. He then grabs the fishing line and reels up the hook, and runs the point through the mouth of the paper fish.

"A prayer for good fishing elsewhere."
Hida Kambe
 player, 374 posts
Mon 9 Nov 2015
at 23:03
Re: Hida Kambe
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 393):

Kambe raised his hands in surrender. "You are of course correct, Kihi-sama. I should have trusted you, it is merely that, I think this spirit has been playing tricks on me since I arrived here. it caused me to question myself to the point that I worried others would question me too. I apologize for the unintended slight.

As for what to do? I suppose I will redouble my efforts to find this Goro since he was the last person I know to have had the flag."

Little Teacher
 GM, 5598 posts
Tue 10 Nov 2015
at 04:09
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 396):

Risa shakes her head. "I am afraid not. And I even drank an entire pot of Koiko-san's wretched tea. Koiko is a maid serving the Kasuga." She sighs but then perks up. "However I do I now one thing. The porters would not allow the package to be carried in with the regular baggage. It had to be moved to the carriage where the Princess-sama's Falcon's are using."
Little Teacher
 GM, 5599 posts
Tue 10 Nov 2015
at 04:17
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 397):

The shugenja burns incense and waves a red fan in the direction of the west. He ties ribbon around his thumb and then the dead man's. He throws soot at the horse, who then screeches and kicks out behind it, trying to strike the priest in retaliation.

The shugenja sighs and begins to blow out his candles. "I have spoken to the kami Akodo-sama. They confirm the scouts' conjectures. Fizu-san's horse killed and ate him. I do believe the horse was-is-possessed. But...I do not believe it to be maho. At least not in any sense I know it. I think we are dealing with foxes. Not oni. I...find myself out of my depth where such things are concerned."

Most priests tend to study the kami and, by defajlt, gain some understanding of Maho in the process. The trickster spirits are not as well studied. Outside of folktales, most people know nothing about them.
Little Teacher
 GM, 5600 posts
Tue 10 Nov 2015
at 04:31
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 398):

The Toad blinks in surprise at the origami fish and then barks out a deep, rumbling sort of laugh. "Yes. As you say. The seasons change.".

He turns and peers at you. "A bit of advice. You seem an unlike look you fisherman to me. I think you should turn your energies towards hunting for eggs. Best to find them when they are still whole. As the old saying goes, 'Each egg hatched...another ghost born.'." He points to the north and west. "Difficult to stuff a ghost back inside once it's hatched. But it can be done. But you need to find the shell first. I wish you good hunting Doji-san."

You blink. Or perhaps you do not. Either way the branch is empty now.

You look in the direction he pointed. In the direction of Koso Mura.

A cloud passes overhead, drifting that same way.
Little Teacher
 GM, 5601 posts
Tue 10 Nov 2015
at 04:36
Re: Hida Kambe
In reply to Hida Kambe (msg # 399):

"Make use of this one," Kihi nods at Koichi. "Someone should. Keep me informed."

Kihi taps his one hand on his thigh and frowns. "It may be worth talking to the Sparrow. I know little of teng outside of folktales. But that may be the only source of information we have on them. At least the source that is readily available. And...as loathe as I am to say it...it may be worth consulting a medium. If your can find a credible one."

Before we advance, anything else you ant to ask Kihi?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 283 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Tue 10 Nov 2015
at 04:41
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 401):

Jubei sighs. Foxes. Now this, on top of everything else.

"Is there anything that can be done to drive them off, or appease them? I don't want them killing anyone else. One of ours is bad enough. But imagine if something like this happened to the princess."
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1076 posts
Tue 10 Nov 2015
at 16:02
Re: Iuchi Lixue


Lixue nod to acknowledge Risa's brave endurance of bad tea.

"That is very interesting.  So it was not stolen from their wagons, but from one of Princess' wagon? "  Lixue muses, realizing that this would look quite bad for the Princess.  Or at least it would if the Kasuga had more influence to complain.  Also, she wondered what the falconers thought of this.  No groom would be pleased if something strange was kept with their charges.  "And the porter decided where it would be kept? That is very odd."

She considers as she asks Risa. "How much do the porters know about what we have brought with us?  I am secure in my impression that you rule over the organization our supplies."  Lixue cannot imagine Risa allowing anyone to meddle in her realm.
Little Teacher
 GM, 5602 posts
Wed 11 Nov 2015
at 04:22
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 404):

The shugenja nods and considera. "I can chant some sutras. That will helf keep spirits at bay. And I can inscribe some sutras in a scroll. If the Princess carries the scroll, that would keep her safe from direct harm." He bows. "I apologize. But short of turning aside the specific fox, the most that can be dono is keeping them at bay. If Akodo-Sama would allow, I can speak to Isawa-sama. She may know of a larger scale remedy."

Suzuhiho, eh? She may try to use such a chance to make mischief. But then again, she may not. You do not know her that well.
Little Teacher
 GM, 5603 posts
Wed 11 Nov 2015
at 04:29
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 405):

You are exactly right on all counts. The storage arrangements for the stolen package are strange. The porters could decide to store something elsewhere. But to store it in the Princess' cart would require permission from someone in her retinue. As to the choice of stowing it with the Falcons...answer hazy. Try again later.

Risa nods briskly. "Of course Lady Iuchi. I make sure to know where all our goods are located. It is one reason I am driving our own wagon. I know little of the Kasuga's servants. Lout I can tell you Miya-sama's maids are a healthy dose of cold winter air. They are efficient if not kind. Now that you mention it, I can not imagine they would not know if another guests box was stored with the Princess' falcons. Either that or the Porter involved is a very brave and foolish man. Should I inquire?"
Akodo Jubei
 player, 284 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 11 Nov 2015
at 04:39
Re: Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 406):

Jubei considered.

"Well...let's give her a chance. There is an ancient technique to ferret out treachery. One tells slightly different versions of a story to suspects and see which one reaches the enemy. Then you have your spy. If she means well and can help, it is only to the good to let her. If she does not mean well, we shall find that out too."
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1077 posts
Thu 12 Nov 2015
at 02:56
Re: Iuchi Lixue

Lixue considers, listening attentively as she decides what to do next. "I don't see any harm in trying, but it is not something that is worth trouble. If the porters are as proper as you say, they may not wish to tell you.  I imagine you would put anyone who asked that kind of thing off just on principle.

 If you could ask if there was a convenient time for me to see the falcons tomorrow, I think that would be nice."
  Perhaps she could even have a nice chat about falconry as well.

She sighs, "I will try to find out what it looks like--I am sure that you would notice any boxes that are not ours.  Hopefully everyone is just as perceptive.  I can't think of a good reason for anything to be put in a falcon wagon unless it was alive.  But few living things could be put in a box.  If it were fragile or precious, one would think it would be put somewhere more secure."  Lixue thinks aloud as she sips her evening tea.
Doji Arata
 player, 1105 posts
Thu 12 Nov 2015
at 03:07
Doji Arata
Arata claps his hands a third time and bows to the shrine before turning back to the road ahead.
Hida Kambe
 player, 375 posts
Fri 13 Nov 2015
at 05:19
Re: Hida Kambe
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 403):

I am ok to advance.
Little Teacher
 GM, 5613 posts
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 20:58
Re: Hida Kambe
In reply to Hida Kambe (msg # 411):

I gave you a lead in on the new thread. Thanks