1.4 | How About the Hammam?   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 550 posts
Fri 10 Jul 2015
at 09:25
1.4 | How About the Hammam?
While the Fire Country enjoyed hot springs, the Wind Country built hammams. Suna's baths were split into a warm room, a hot room, and then a cool pool to wash off in. Of course, before that the building was split into the men's and women's baths.
Oyamada Masumi
 Sunagakure, 412 posts
 Genin
 Suna
Fri 10 Jul 2015
at 13:54
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
Jumping from rooftop to rooftop, Masumi finally came to a stop.  As soon as he landed on an overhanging wooden plank from the roof from which the store’s sign hung, he dropped into a crouch, letting his hands come to rest against the wood.  At that point, he spread out his senses.  Suddenly, he became acutely aware of the roughness of the wood under his palms—someone had forgotten to sand it well enough before adding it to the building during construction.  The crimson-haired boy had long since learned to filter out extraneous information like that, however, and it filtered through his mind creating nary a ripple on the stillness of the pond that was the forefront of his thoughts.  What he was truly looking for was other shinobi taking the exam.  It would be the telltale sign that perhaps they had gotten it right.  While it was possible that all of them could be wrong, enough shinobi here would be a decent measure of accuracy.

The Sunagakure Genin was also looking for the signs of an ambush.  While there was no real combat in this stage of the exam, other shinobi may use this opportunity to eliminate other potential opponents from the exam.  He still didn’t fully trust the shinobi from Kirigakure speeding to his location behind him.  After all, he would be a complete fool to with their village’s reputation.  However, spreading goodwill had the possibility of benefitting him during a later portion of the exam.  Even now, combining their efforts had a mutual benefit.  Masumi doubted that she would stab him in the back now when she was benefitting so much from the arrangement.  Later on, however, that would probably change.

For now, he was content to take in as much data as he could: people in the area and what they were doing could be especially helpful.  Maybe one of the villagers would accidentally give something away with their body language.  Or even another ninja in disguise would give themselves away.  Either way, Masumi was most definitely a look first, leap afterward kind of person.  He had no wish to throw himself out of the cooking pan and directly into an open flame.  Only after taking stock of the situation would be then drop down to the street and approach the Hammam.
GM
 GM, 553 posts
Fri 17 Jul 2015
at 11:09
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
One of the things Masumi had learned about shinobi from observing his own village, was how easy it was to pick out a ninja among civilians if the ninja wasn't trying to disguise themselves. . Even relaxed and seemingly off-duty, Shinobi marked themselves with a light gait, moved smoothly with high awareness of their surroundings.

Artapana darted across the street, though he was in no particular hurry. He entered the hammam as relaxed as he would any other day, almost as though he'd forgotten the chuunin exams today.

Lian stopped behind Masumi at the other end of the post. She too cast her eye over the street, looking  for tell-tale hints of conceal ninja or any other subtleties which help or hinder.

Another ninja crept along the street close to the walls, pausing only briefly near the hammam's doors before ducking in. Artapana again apparently.

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:09, Fri 17 July 2015.

Oyamada Masumi
 Sunagakure, 419 posts
 Genin
 Suna
Fri 17 Jul 2015
at 16:24
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
From his crouched position on the wooden overhang, Masumi observed his teammate's movements.  When he saw the first Artapana pass by, he paid special attention to his teammate's feet.  It was a trick he had picked up in his training and had wisely not shared with others.  Clones were not physical beings according to the current theory on the jutsu, so they would not be able to displace physical objects.  In a place like Govadistan that was surrounded and buried in sand, the best place to tell if a person was a clone or not was to look to their feet to see if they were displacing sand.  While the best dudaenn could travel across sand with barely a whisper, they would still leave light footprints.  A clone, however, would not cause the sand to shift at all.

As he watched the second Artapana walk dart past, the crimson-haired shinobi kept watch on the feet of his teammate as he passed.  It was obvious that the Asbahura was trying to draw out any attack on him before he entered into what he thought to be the exam room.  This would, after all, be the perfect place for an ambush to eliminate other genin from the exam.  A person subconsciously relaxed slightly when their goal was within sight.  The best shinobi trained for many years of their life to get rid of this subconscious flaw, but even then it sometimes crept up on them.  What they needed was a plan.  Or, at the very least, a show of strength enough that any would be pursuers would think twice before trying to pick them off.  They needed to gather together to walk in.  While each of them would likely be easy pickings on their own, no one would be foolish enough to try their luck against three shinobi walking into the exam hall together--even if one of them was obviously from a different village than the other two.  Temporary alliances may be as transient as the shifting winds of Govadistan, but all one needed to do was to make sure it was more beneficial for the person to be allied with them than against them.  People had a tendency to act in their own self-interests.

Taking stock of the situation, Masumi analyzed both the Artapanas that had crossed his vision.  If they were both clones, that made the task much easier.  While most dudaenn spent their time practicing their jutsu, the young genin had spent a good deal of his time actually going through the mathematics and analysis portions of the Academy that most neglected.  One of those basic principles was triangulation.  Judging from the path both Artapanas came from, he could piece together the rough vicinity in which his original teammate was.  If another clone came, he could pin down the exact location.  Giving a signal with two fingers behind him to Lian, the crimson-haired young man gestured in the direction his teammate was and took off over the rooftops.  Once they were all together, they could enter into the Hammam with impunity.  There was no reason to take extra risk if they didn't have to.  Plus, Artapana on his own could possibly get picked off.  Why settle for one member of Team Storm passing when they could get two?
GM
 GM, 555 posts
Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 07:04
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
Masumi logic ran ahead of him, but it often did, leaving behind a strange disappointment that things were rarely so clever as him.

Neither Artapana appeared to be a clone. The minute details that a clone would fail to produce - interactions with sand and air and light - were all present. Both boys were real. The question was which one was the real Artapana.
Oyamada Masumi
 Sunagakure, 420 posts
 Genin
 Suna
Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 21:31
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
Taking a few leaps toward the direction he had gestured to, Masumi was stopped short by a fluttering feeling in his stomach.  Unlike most people who grew accustomed to the feeling as something like nerves, in his case the feeling was associated with the thought that he had forgotten or overlooked something--often a crucial detail.  Had he been too hasty?  After all, Artapana usually was cautious enough to do something like throw clones at a target to draw them out before he sent an arrow straight into the path of the quarry he flushed out.  Who else would do such a thing?

Letting his eyes glaze over, the crimson-haired shinobi rewound the entire scene in his mind and played it all back moment by moment as he stayed in the crouch on the rooftop.  Only seconds passed in reality, but in his head he was replaying the event thousands of times.  There was a detail he missed, he knew it.  But, what was it?  Both of the Artapanas were flawless, but...

...and there it was.  Dust moved from the movement of the clone.  It couldn't be a clone.  They were just footsteps so light that they did not displace much sand.  It told of someone that was not only light-footed, but was probably a native of Govadistan.  Only the training here taught someone how to be agile enough to perform a feat like that.  While the training in other countries probably taught something similar, dried leaves were a much easier level than grains of sand.  Playing it back a few more times in his mind, he started to notice a few more subtle differences between the two "clones."  One was definitely Artapana.  It had all of his own mannerisms.  But, what about the one that followed after him?  If they were not clones, then the other was a very convincing transformation technique.  Probably from someone who had studied Artapana for a very long time.  They had even gotten down the way he adjusted the tachi at his hip when he was moving quickly.  It couldn't be someone that had just met him in the exam today.  And the way that Artapana's walk skipped every so often...

Masumi had spent many days watching just that same half-skip in a walk across a desert along with the altogether pleasant backside associated with it.  So, Madu was here.  He did not know why she had chosen to transform into Artapana, but at least that was one mystery solved.  And another potential ally.  If Team Storm was together this far, he knew nothing would be able to stop them.  Maybe if it had been their team when they had first set out from the Academy, but they had been through a great deal together since then--especially in Maqart.  Though he was quite comfortable in his own skin, he was used to having his teammates nearby.  He knew their strengths and weaknesses well enough to know how to direct their efforts the best.  Without them, it felt like he was missing two rather important chess pieces.

Standing, the genin performed an abrupt turn, signaling to Lian that he was canceling the last idea and proceeded to point directly at the Hammam.  If those two were in there, he wouldn't let them face the dangers alone.  With all of them together with the addition of Lian, they may just be able to pass this part of the exam after all.  Taking off across the roofs, he landed in front of the Hammam doors before slipping inside.


15:32, Today: Oyamada Masumi rolled 5 successes using 8d10 with the World of Darkness nWoD system with a target of 8, rerolling on 9 or more with rolls of 9(+3),8,10(+7),2,7,9(+5),4,10(+3).
GM
 GM, 561 posts
Thu 23 Jul 2015
at 07:13
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
Inside the hammam proved no cooler than outside. The heat from the baths leeched into the walls and kept the building ever hotter in than out most of the day. However,  under the midday sun, the streets emptied an many chose to bathe during the inhospitable hour.

Lian drew a flask from her cloak and drank three measured mouthfuls of water.

"Oh." she gestured to the signage on the two doors with a blush. She couldn't read it, but she didn't need to. What bath house wasn't segregated?

"So that is why..."

Lian brought her hands together and held her breath for a heartbeat. Gathering her character,  she released a transformation jutsu. Her shape squared out, the lines of her face hardened and she leaned back into a more confident - no - a bravado laden stance.

"Now we can follow."

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:05, Wed 29 July 2015.

Oyamada Masumi
 Sunagakure, 424 posts
 Genin
 Suna
Wed 29 Jul 2015
at 18:04
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
Well, that made sense about why Maduvanthi had used the transformation jutsu.  How could he have missed something so obvious?  Probably because he thought that the location they were searching for would be in a place that would allow for mix genders like the foyer area.  But, to go so far as to force people of opposite genders into areas they were not allowed?  Well, infiltrating an area in which one was not supposed to be made sense, but this was a rather twisted version of that.

Must've been that damn Shivendu's idea.  Masumi couldn't even attach the mirza to the man's name in his mind in good conscience.  The thought of him alone made his skin crawl.  Respect didn't mean he had to like the man.

Following Lian's idea, the crimson-haired boy dropped into a crouch and placed both hands into the water, scooping up the clear liquid to drink as well.  In Govadistan there was no telling when a person would be able to get water next--merchants who traveled the desert knew that fact all too well.  So, when one managed to gain sight of water they drank in order to make sure they were hydrated well enough.  After all, the water that a person passed up before they were dying of dehydration was all that person thought about as they slid ever more slowly toward death's door.

Standing up straight, Masumi noted his new ally's transformation before nodding his agreement.  With that, he strode off at a leisurely pace toward the building's proprietor who usually sat near where the Hammam divided into male and female sections.

"How are you doing, Owner?" he asked with a wide grin, using the older gentleman's title rather than his name as most of the locals usually did while in his establishment.  The genin's posture was relaxed as per usual with his hands in his pockets.  Having spent more time among the people in Rejinnqeshlāq than actually in training due to his late arrival to the Academy gave him a bit of an edge in an exam here.  "My friend Lee is new to the village, so I'm taking a few minutes to show him around."  Taking one hand out of his pocket, he jerked his thumb behind him at Lian to gesture to who he was talking about.  "Can you believe he's never heard of a hammam before?  Once I found out, I had to bring him to the best place in our village!"

With a laugh, he continued, drawing the older man in close.  "So, how much for two of us?" he whispered.  "And don't you turn the price up too much.  I put in a good word for you with the Old Man to grab those extra spices for your usual, so help me out a little here, will you?  I've got those exams coming up and all.  I can't spend too much."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:05, Wed 29 July 2015.

GM
 GM, 571 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 08:01
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
"Masumi." the man smiled. "Slippery as ever, I see. Aren't those exams supposed to start today? Well that's not my business.
You can use your usual discount for you an your friend. All these foreigners are good for business, so I'll let it slide.
That's a headband for the Hidden Mist, isn't it? You don't have bath houses there?"


"No, sir. In my country, if you wish to get wet, one need only cross the street." 'Lee' gave the owner a silly smile. "If I have laundry, I put soap on my shoulders and go for a stroll."

The Sunan laughed. "Alright, just don't stand in front of the door. Someone will trip over you both."


The warm room offered a dry heat and rows of lockers for customers to store their clothes while they bathed. The room was empty save for someone slipping along the rows out of sight.

An Artapana rolled off the top of a line of lockers to long beside Masumi. He put his hands on his hips and gave 'Lee' a long long look. "Making friends, or do I have to rescue you again?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:28, Tue 04 Aug 2015.

Oyamada Masumi
 Sunagakure, 428 posts
 Genin
 Suna
Sun 9 Aug 2015
at 01:28
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
"Slippery?" the young teenager had replied with a look of mock hurt on his face.  "Call it a good business sense.  It's not like you're getting nothing out of it either.  Those spices of yours aren't cheap!"  Sticking his tongue out in a joking gesture, he fished in his pocket for a couple coins and left them on the desk with a dull metallic sound before gesturing at Lee to follow him inside.

As soon as he stepped into the locker room, Masumi let his senses extend to analyze the area the best he could.  Registering the movement above, he sidestepped to allow his teammate to land without any risk of jostling.  "Artapana, when have you ever known me to get that far in over my head?" he asked.  As soon as the words were out of the crimson-haired genin's mouth, he held up a hand to forestall any response.  "Except that one time," he continued with a sigh.  "But, in my defense, she was pretty cute.  How was I supposed to know that she had that kind of strength?  Though, you did play a pretty convincing ex-boyfriend of a jilted lover."

"Speaking of whom, where is Madu?" he asked, his eyes hazel eyes flitting between the lockers.  "Her transformation technique was executed well enough that it almost fooled even me.  And that's considering I knew where to look!"
GM
 GM, 574 posts
Mon 10 Aug 2015
at 16:42
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
Artapana pressed the back of his hand to his mouth for a moment, trying not to laugh. The gesture looked odd on him. For the most part Artapana reacted to everything as though it were some kind of trick or test, though he had been relaxing more in the past few weeks.

”Well, she has been practising a lot. You should see her impersonate you. She’s checking the way forward. There’s an access into the boiler rooms here.” Artapana gave ‘Lee’ another speculative look. ”I thought it might be the easiest path to where we want to look. I know there are other access points, but I forget where.”

This message was last updated by the GM at 16:42, Mon 10 Aug 2015.

Oyamada Masumi
 Sunagakure, 431 posts
 Genin
 Suna
Mon 10 Aug 2015
at 21:17
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
A smile spread across Masumi's face as he watched his teammate try not to laugh.  "You're right," he replied with a wry smile.  "She has been working quite hard.  I should give her a reward when I see her next."  With a sudden burst of speed, he moved straight up into Artapana's personal space with his right hand softly against his teammate's face.  With his left hand still in his pocket at usual, he simply leaned over to give him a peck on the cheek.

The young genin did not even break stride, his lips simply brushing Artapana's cheek as he passed by, nonchalantly resuming his usual relaxed stride.  When he was a few paces away, he withdrew his left hand from his pocket and began to re-braid his hair, glancing over his shoulder at Lee and Artapana, the roguish grin of a boy in good humor back on his face.

"So, then," he stated with a bit of energy.  "Shall we get going?"

Without any explanation to Lee or anyone else in the locker room who was probably wondering what Masumi was doing kissing a boy on the cheek, he set off toward the boiler room access, his fingers deftly working through the locks of his crimson hair to form a new braid--more tightly wound than usual.  This close to the finish line he was most definitely expecting trouble.
GM
 GM, 580 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 11:28
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
'Lee' glanced away, quite bemused. Who Masumi kissed an why wasn't important. Artapana started after Masumi with a calculating look on his face.

On the other side of the door another Artapana crouched close to the floor, kunai in hand.
"Is he coming with us?" he gestured to Lee.

Behind Masumi, Maduvanthi dismissed her transformation technique and resumed her own appearance.

"Apparently. Did you find anything?"

"There's another door which opens onto a ladder. It goes down a long way. I thought I'd come get you first."
Oyamada Masumi
 Sunagakure, 435 posts
 Genin
 Suna
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 14:13
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
"You mean 'she,'" the crimson-haired genin replied to his teammate.  Gesturing to Lee, he continued, introducing her.  "Art, Madu, this is Lian from Kirigakure.  Lian, you probably won't need that transformation where we're going."

Stepping forward with a lopsided grin, he replaced both his hands into his pockets as per usual.  "And of course she's coming with us," he said with a wink.  "When venturing into the unknown, it's often better to have more allies than less."

That being said, Masumi did not fully trust Lian and would continue to keep an eye on her.  She was a shinobi, after all, and one from Kirigakure to boot.  Keeping allies would help overall battle strength, but he was not so naive as to believe that another ninja would not turn on the three of them given a chance for greater benefit.  But, as long as all their goals coincided, Lian's unknown battle strength could only help them.  Plus, some people had a moral compass that guided their actions.  Owing someone a favor for helping them through the exam may be something that could sway a situation to his benefit later.

"Well then, shall we get going?"

With that statement, the young man from Govadistan began to walk nonchalantly toward the door with the ladder to head down into the unknown depths.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:13, Fri 21 Aug 2015.

GM
 GM, 583 posts
Wed 26 Aug 2015
at 10:48
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
Maduvanthi performed an elegant bow to send Lian after Masumi, taking her place behind the Kiri-nin with Artapana behind her in turn. Lian also released her transformation jutsu to return to her normal appearance, huddled in her cloak.

As Artapana had aptly not described, the room beyond the door was small with a metal ladder descending through an access tunnel and a few locked cabinets for tools. Although the room was lit, looking down into the tunnel was to look down into abyssal darkness.

”There is a large body of water below.” Lian said. ”Is it a cistern? We should proceed with caution. Light and sound travel strangely in caverns.”
Oyamada Masumi
 Sunagakure, 437 posts
 Genin
 Suna
Wed 26 Aug 2015
at 23:31
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
"So, let's just be silent then," Masumi replied, looking over his shoulder at Lian with a charmingly roguish grin.

With that, he simply gripped the ladder gently and began his descent into the unknown, doing his best to stay silent and hoping the others would be the same.  He knew it would take a few seconds for his eyes to get adjusted to the darkness, but he hoped that by staying silent, it would be able to buy them the time they needed to get used to the inky blackness before they were potentially ambushed.  It was not a great feeling descending into the unknown, but no plan ever fully survived a potential engagement.  The only reason his seemed to was because he could adjust them on the fly in less time than it took people to usually think of one in the first place.


19:27, Today: Oyamada Masumi rolled 2 successes using 5d10 with the World of Darkness nWoD system with a target of 8, rerolling 10s with rolls of 4,4,8,2,8.  Stealth.
GM
 GM, 584 posts
Tue 1 Sep 2015
at 06:40
Re: 1.4 | How About the Hammam?
The quartet creeped down into the darkness. As they neared the bottom Masumi saw gold light on the wall of the tunnel below him and that one side of the tunnel stopped to leave a tall opening into the cistern. The ladder ended on a wood walkway lit with burning torches. The line of fire trailed off over the water and deeper under the village.

The whispers of idle waters rebounded through the cavern, creating a strange blanket of sound which masked most other noises. It wasn't until the genin could get their first glimpse of the gathering that they could identify the chatter or know which way to go.

please move on to The First Test

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:12, Mon 21 Sept 2015.