At War.   Posted by Little Teacher.Group: 0
Little Teacher
 GM, 5997 posts
Tue 20 Sep 2016
at 04:28
At War
I never conquered, rarely came
                                                           -Blink 182

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 04:28, Tue 20 Sept 2016.

Little Teacher
 GM, 5998 posts
Tue 20 Sep 2016
at 04:40
Akodo Jubei
The water is the color of blood. Fortunately it is simply the setting of the sun and not the results of the earlier battle. An hour downstream from the trading post and all signs of the fight are gone.

You watch the sides of the river for a bit. Patrols of your men are riding alongside. No indication of another force. Good. Maybe fortune will smile and you will reach the City with no more drama.

Enough boats were collected a little after noon. You finally set sail and have arranged the convoy of rafts and barges as well as you could. As long as the bandits do not show up with a massive river armada, you should be able to relax. Too bad that is not your nature.

Fizz has already sent word. He has sent men down river to meet you halfway. You should rendezvous in two more hours. The City is only four hours further. Miya-Sama made the decision to sail on even after nightfall.

Lord Akodo... One 9f your officers bows as he approaches. We have word from the eta we left at the post with the prisoners. The river bandits proved to be less tough than previous prisoners. The one who hired them passed themselves off as The Swallow. They have no direct information other than it was a woman who wore a noh mask and robes the color of scarlet and yellow
Akodo Jubei
 player, 415 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Tue 20 Sep 2016
at 04:46
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 2):

(OOC:Hmmm. Is it appropriate to inquire of Bayushi-sama who the 'swallow' might be? Even among the Scorpion...well, they're not all working towards one goal.)
Little Teacher
 GM, 5999 posts
Tue 20 Sep 2016
at 04:54
Akodo Jubei
You tuck the note in your sleeve and wait for the servants to finish handing out umbrellas. It seems rain clouds have moved in while you were meeting with the Phoenix.

The note is just a formal confirmation of what little has been agreed to thus far. There will be follow up discussion the day after tomorrow.

Hitomi is off to one side of the room, speaking to his wife. He nods at something she says then turns and comes your way. He is to guide your party to his home.

Fortunately we have not far to go. And we can pass over Lover's Regret Bridge. Have you been across it yet? No? It is a local landmark. There are of course many tales about how it came to be named so. But it is reasonably lovely enough to fit it's name. My wife has some further business and will join us later. Shall we go?

Meichou holds an umbrella over you as a thick looking maid holds one over Hitomi. Hawasi manages to be at your elbow without hovering.

How long have you been in Naishou Doji-san? What do you think of it so far?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6002 posts
Thu 22 Sep 2016
at 05:00
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 3):

You may ask him. Just be careful how you word it. And remeber...he is Scorpion. For sake of ease, I will rule he is on the same barge.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 416 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 23 Sep 2016
at 03:19
Akodo Jubei
Jubei considers the information he got...and also considers that there is one who might certainly know who this 'Swallow' is.

"Bayushi-sama, if I may request a brief audience?"

Despite being the Lion Commander here, the Scorpion General still outranks him in the greater scheme of things.

If such an audience is granted...

"I have heard tell of one called 'The Swallow.' Would you have perhaps heard of one going by such a name before?"

This message was last edited by the player at 03:20, Fri 23 Sept 2016.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6004 posts
Fri 23 Sep 2016
at 04:35
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 6):

Bayushi is reading a pillow book when you come across him seated against the side of the ship. He greets you back and cocks an eyebrow at your question. 'The Swallow'. Sounds like a courtesan's stage name. No. I am being serious. There is a brothel back in Naishou. The ladies are each named for a bird. Why do you ask?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 417 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 23 Sep 2016
at 22:44
Akodo Jubei
Jubei considers how to phrase this.

"According to the reports we've gained from the attack of the river bandits, they were hired by a woman in red and yellow, wearing a noh mask, calling herself the Swallow.

Considering what you have told me, it may be more deceit...recall there were many people passing themselves off as government officers holding positions that did not exist. Although it seems to me impersonating one of the Clans will garner even greater reprisal.
"

Despite somebody doing an impersonation of Scorpion, he's choosing to deal with his as if somebody's trying to discredit Bayushi-sama. No, it is not a clan of honor, but he finds it unlikely such a one would attack their own general.
Doji Arata
 player, 1187 posts
Mon 26 Sep 2016
at 02:22
Doji Arata
(Sorry, didn't realize you had posted for me. I've lost track of the timeline, so I'll make some numbers up.)

"How long?"

Arata shakes his head.

"Oh, but you ask such complicated questions. I first arrived in Naishou eight weeks ago, and I have not left the province since. Yet I have spent less than six weeks here. So how long have I been in Naishou?"

He smiles innocently at Hitomi. [Hotori?]

"A riddle, you see. Do you enjoy riddles, Shiba-san?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 6008 posts
Wed 28 Sep 2016
at 05:46
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 8):

Ah yes. The false officials. I had some troubles because of that situation. He offers you a wooden cup and flask of sake. It is a perplexing situation. I was able to use some of my resources to research these fools. Did you know the names used for the false officials were names of actual officials from previous administrations? For example, there were writs being  issued by a Daidoji Kito. This Kito-San had lived one hundred  seventy five years ago and been an administrator when Naishou was briefly held by the Crane.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6009 posts
Wed 28 Sep 2016
at 05:56
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 9):

No worries. My fault actually. I did not notice the system auto filled in Jubei's name. Also it is Hitomi. My auto correct is out of control and I have been on such a crazy schedule I haven'the been paying attention as I should have. My apologies.

That is not so much a riddle as it is Naishou. Or perhaps I should respond, 'the answer is Naishou'. He gestures at a building you are passing. It is a pretty house, though of anew architecture favored in your grandparents day. How old do you   think that house is? The porch as a hallway was a popular style in my father's day. So you would assume the original house was of an older style and the owners have just elected to keep it as such, neh? The house does look in good repair, with no indication it has been remodeled. Hitomi's conjecture sounds reasonable. He smiles as your party walks past it. I came to Naishou eight years ago. That house was not there then. I do not recall when that house went up. But I do recall there used to be a quaint three room home there in a modern style.
Doji Arata
 player, 1188 posts
Sun 2 Oct 2016
at 05:35
Doji Arata
Arata nods.

"In a city as unique as Koso Mura, such things do not seem particularly out of place, do they?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 6011 posts
Sun 2 Oct 2016
at 06:02
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 12):

Perhaps. But it is only a sample. See that garden there? The one with the hydrangeas? There is a rumor that if you go there at midnight on a rainy evening, the hydrangea will whisper a secret to you. And that man there. The one in the boat on the stream?  Your party has come to a good sized but not large bridge. It must be the one Hitomi mentioned earlier. It fords a wide stream. A man about middle age is seated in a small boat, rowing across the stream. <Brown>He does this all day long. The city pays him to row a boat across this stream. All day long. His family has always had this duty. It is in fact written into the city charter. Have you ever heard the like?</Bronw>
Doji Arata
 player, 1189 posts
Wed 5 Oct 2016
at 03:44
Doji Arata
Arata stops for a moment to look down at the lone rower, leaned against the handrail.

"All old places have their stories, but I admit that yours seem hard to match. You are impressively knowledgeable, Shiba-san. You are very fond of this city, are you not?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 6014 posts
Wed 5 Oct 2016
at 04:44
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 14):

Of this city?  Not as such.  When I first arrived for duty, I was stationed in the capital for a few years.  When the Clan withdrew from the governorship, I moved here and assumed new duties.

He watches the rower with you and then ushers your party on.  Kosa Mura is an eccentric old lady.  Of that there is no doubt.  But the capital...ah.  That is where true strangeness occurs.  Have you been there yet?  No.  I assume you will go eventually.  You can see for yourself.  Tell me Doji-san.  Have you had any troubles with birds since you arrived?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6015 posts
Wed 5 Oct 2016
at 04:54
Iuchi Lixue
You walk through your bedroom, marveling again how your small rented house has become so welcoming.  When you arrived back in the city yesterday, you were set for a long bath and deep sleep.  Once Risa and Raiden were seen to.  Risa's incapacitation is felt.  Not only her companionship, but the ease with which she seemed to schedule your comings and goings.  The maid you were able to procure can not cook rice to save her life.  And the woman...Nia you think she said her name was.  The woman mumbles and whispers so much it is hard to tell...is still trying to figure out where everything goes.

She does seem an adequate nurse though.  You adjust your robe and check once more on Risa, settled on the mat in the warmest part of the room.  Her fever broke last night.  A good sign.  The care of a proper healer has set your mind at ease.  The physician was surprised no infection had set in.  But then again Risa is strong.  So that should not be so surprising.  The doctor was the one who recommended Nia.

There is a knock at your door and Nia mumbles something.  The word Guest makes it through the screen though.  He must be here.

You ask her to serve tea and fruit and then walk out to the parlor.  Ochube cleans up well.  He has shaved the stubble he wore into the gate.  Of course he would.  He is a Crane after all.  He looks up and smiles.  How is Risa doing?

I will give you a chance to process all that.  I know it is a big jump in time.  Let me know if there are any questions or actions you want to take as soon as you got back.  Thanks
Akodo Jubei
 player, 418 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 5 Oct 2016
at 07:59
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 10):

"Interesting. For people that make a living on lies, they're doing a great deal of homework to make their lies a little more convincing. It does suggest they're getting records somehow to research that information."

And this from someone calling herself the 'Swallow', which is apparently the name a of a woman of entertainment.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6016 posts
Fri 7 Oct 2016
at 03:04
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 17):

Well. As to that, I would guess someone at the Temple may be able to assist. After all, the Temple in Naishou has a repository of birth and death records for the municipality.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1232 posts
Fri 7 Oct 2016
at 03:19
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 16):

OOC:  Eeep! So much for investigating!  Did Lixue find anything when she interviewed the 3 Kasuga (the hunter, the servant-overseer and the secretary) who shared a tent with the thief?   She should probably also write to Lady Bayushi and tell her about the exciting fun she's having. 

Doji Arata
 player, 1190 posts
Fri 7 Oct 2016
at 03:19
Doji Arata
"'Trouble' is a strong word," Arata says.
"I did meet a fellow who claimed to have lost his luck to a sparrow, if you would believe it. Or was it a finch? Either way nothing is more tragic than a gambler out of luck. For myself, I have found the birds of Naishou no less polite and courteous than the ones in Kyuden Doji."
Akodo Jubei
 player, 419 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 7 Oct 2016
at 04:52
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 18):

Jubei supposed he might inquire of the temple to impose a moratorium on all recordseeking outside of one's own ancestors at the temple till this is dealt with, but it seems...perhaps extreme, since that line of attack seems disabled for the moment.

"An interesting puzzle they present."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6017 posts
Sat 8 Oct 2016
at 05:40
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 19):

You're right. Completely forgot about that. We'll handle the interviews with the tent mates as a flashback. I have an idea now about it now I think you might enjoy. Letter to Lady Bayushi can be considered written. Let me know the gist of any contents other than the current goings on. Thanks.

You finish straightening your kimono and check the folds in your hand mirror. The Yukata  you chose has an autumn leaf pattern to it and you check the directionality the leaves flow. As you do so, you notice a hare image hidden among the leaves on your left sleeve. You knew the image was there of course, but it is not something you ever gave much thought to. But given what occurred two days ago...Your mind wanders back to the events at the trading post.

How did Okiro-San phrase it?




A squad of Lion runs across the courtyard of the compound. You push unselfish back against a stack of crates, giving them as much room as possiblearly to pass by. It sounds like they are headed for the gates and the battle raging there.

This morning, the column of the hunting party had descended the last hill and made it to the river. A small trading post sat perched on the banks. The relief of all the riders around you had risen to the skies like smoke from a bonfire. Even Ochube had seemed relieved. The days of riding and stress from the past week's events were taking their toll. But the promise of a quick trip home by boat buoyed spirits. For the first time in days, the people around you chattered and laughed. For a moment you could have believed this was just a pleasant excursion and not a complete debacle.

Sadly, the small inn could not accommodate everyone. But the baths were open and after the first rush, you had taken a quick dip and changed into clean robes. Risa seemed steady though her fever was still worrisome. You tended to Raiden, checking his bandages and brushing him down. He seemed well on the way to mending.

It was about midday the bandits staged another attack. The Lion asked all guests to stay close to the inn. You listened to the reports that filtered down regarding the situation. It seems the Lion had things in hand. It was during this you received a note. The three tent mates were assembled. Yuna had arranged for you to speak to them on the porch of the inn.

The Lion soldiers pass and you hurry across the compound. It seems an odd time to do this, but once boats could be secured, the guests would begin to depart. Best to strike now. At least it would be a distraction.

The guests are piled up around the inn, sipping tea and doing their best to ignore this latest disaster. Miya-Sama would be greatly shamed by all this, but she sat on the porch herself, looking all the world as if there was nothing to worry about.

You scan the crowd and spy the maid who had brought the note. She waves you over and leads around to the side of the inn. The guests are not as thick here. At the far end, three men sit, sipping tea. They wear the mon of the Toirtise though that is as far as the resemblance ends.

One man is large, almost Hida-like in size. He has iron grey hair and kind of stern face that could cow a room of misbehaving children at a glance. The maid introduces him as Kasuga Hideout. Her obvious deference to him and seeming nervousness marks him as the overseer of servants.

The second man has tanned skin and the kind of lightness of movements you associate with those who live outdoors. His shaven head has a network of small scars and besides his blades you notice a very servicable looking knife strapped to his arm. The maid introduces him as Kasuga Okiro. The hunter obviously.

The last man, who must be the secretary seems the only one who does not match expectations. He has a wide grin that seems to just be his natural expression. He is well built. His forearms are thick with ropey veins and his chin is darkened with what appears to be a goatee in mid growth. The maid introduces him as Kasuga Mino.

The three bow to you as you introduce yourself and make room for you to join them. Mino serves you tea. Very pleased to meet you Iuchi-san. Yuna-Sama has been extolling your praises. I see they were well warranted. She asked us to assist you. I believe there were some questions you had....

The other two nod, seeming to be willing to allow Mino to handle the conversation.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6018 posts
Sat 8 Oct 2016
at 05:53
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 20):

Manners among birds has become something of hobby of mine as of late. Ah. Here we are.

He stops before a small gate and pulls the below chord. After a moment, your party is escorted inside. His small manor house is built along the side of the canal, and as you step onto the porch you admire the suprisingly pleasant view. Not a garden in bloom by any stretch. But the sight of the stream flowing by and the orderly row of well built homes on the opposite shore has it's own appeal.

You are lead into a parlor where servants have prepared a warm fire and hot tea. Hitomi issues orders to them and turns back to them. Well. Allow me to officially welcome you. My hospitality is meager but I hope you will overlook it's deficiency and take what small comfort it can provide. I have had baths drawn in advance. Please. Refresh yourselves before we sit down to eat.

Hitomi must like his baths. His bathing chamber is a large, elaborate affair with a pool large enough to accommodate all of you.

Hawasi settles into the water beside you and sighs. For some reason I feel exhausted. Honto. I think these tea parties are as taxing as fighting a contingent of Lion. He glances around to insure no servants are nearby. What do you make of all This? Are they not a bit too eager to please?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6019 posts
Sat 8 Oct 2016
at 06:00
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 21):

Let us jump a head a bit then

The boat comes to rest at the dock. You issue your last orders and then tu4n, offering Miya-San your arm. The two of you descend the gang plank and set foot back in the capital.

Suprisingly, there are not a lot of onlookers. Perhaps that is for the best though.

You hand the Princess off to her security detail, officially received of your obligations regarding her safety and watch her party wend it's way back towards the governor's palace. For better or worse, this hunting excursion is done.

You finish seeing to your men's evacuation and make your own way back to Command. An officer rides up, letting you know the General is waiting for you.

You arrive in his office, finding him sitting studying a shogi board. He motions for you to take the opponents seat. An adjunct serves tea and then bows, departing and closing the door behind him.

The general sighs. Your report please Jubei-san
Akodo Jubei
 player, 420 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Sat 8 Oct 2016
at 08:52
Akodo Jubei
Jubei doesn't look happy, even if he completed the mission.

"Well, the mission to return her safely is complete. However, the expedition itself was as poorly thought out an idea as I've ever seen. The bandits, whom are far better organized then we might've imagined, and more numerous besides, launched several assaults, with shujenga aid in some cases. While some of them believe themselves to have been given orders by a Scorpion calling herself the Swallow, Bayushi-sama believes that, since that is typically a courtesan's name, it is more likely an impersonator of the Scorpion then an actual Scorpion. He also noted the names of the spurious officials were actually names of officials that lived a long time ago, implying they did some research at the temple before choosing their names."

On a lighter note:

"The battles against the bandits went well enough. They were, on the whole, no match for us, despite their persistence in attacking."

Probably the best thing that came of this is Jubei's own growth as a leader. His tactical acumen had notably improved. And word of his deeds has spread further than might be anticipated. Perhaps the princess gossiped about it quite a bit. Winning the dueling matches also helped, and he still has the sheath earned from that victory.

This message was last edited by the player at 08:55, Sat 08 Oct 2016.