Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation.   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: archive 0
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 353 posts
Tue 21 Oct 2008
at 21:56
Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
You make your way quickly--but at a stately pace--to Miya Shiko's residence.  It is a small set of adjoining rooms in the Imperial Halls of the Tsume Palace.  There are guards here, but not ones who seem overly alarmed or wary.  Being more than mildly perceptive, they recognize you at once and allow you to pass without question.

Seated at a small but serviceable writing table is Miya Shiko sipping a cup of tea.

"Ah, Daidoji-san, Kedo-san, Doji-san, and Moto-san," she smiles, "how may I help you?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:06, Mon 03 Nov 2008.

Kedo
 player, 189 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 21 Oct 2008
at 22:05
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation

 That lack of wariness is troublesome by itself, particularly since Kedo is going shockingly armed in the house of a Crane - an offence that, since the word of the Lord here could not possibly have carried so far so swiftly is hard to imagine a Ronin being so foolish so as to commit.

 But even though he ventures to go armed in the halls, there is once more a world of difference between sailing close to the edge of insult by so doing and actually spitting on the sanctity of a home by carrying the blades into the living space of the woman they go to protect and so Kedo pauses at the entrance to the residence where the guardsmen stand and silently peels off to join them with a slight bow of acknowledgement to each...
Doji Akibieden
 player, 156 posts
 My job, hold the line.
 You win the battle!
Tue 21 Oct 2008
at 23:02
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
Miya-sama their have been several attacks in the castle this morning. We have come to check on your safety.  Aki says with a formal bow. His delivery is very much the report of a soldier and as soon as he looks up from his bow he scans the room.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 305 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Wed 22 Oct 2008
at 15:33
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
Sakura also bowed to the Imperial.

'Formal now ...' she thought to herself, 'except for Kedo.'

"Miya-Sama" she said aloud, "we have spotted some like those that we saw on the road coming here. We felt it ... prudent to make sure that you and your protectors knew of it. Just in case ..."

Even Sakura, who rarely cared about formalities, knew better than to insult the competence of the Seppun Miharu on guard ...
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 360 posts
Mon 3 Nov 2008
at 18:43
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
"I appreciate your diligence, Daidoji-san," Miya Shiko bows politely, "please sit," she gestures to all of you, "join me for tea.  Do you believe there is any danger that they will attack here?" she asks, setting out the cups without waiting for a response.
Kedo
 player, 193 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Mon 3 Nov 2008
at 20:34
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation

 The competence of the Seppun Miharu is unquestioned by Kedo at least, who makes no effort whatsoever to have them cede the honour of being closest to the door through which his companions have ventured. Rather the ronin (being careful to keep his hand some distance from his swords, even in the reversed position in which he's wearing them) remains on the opposite side of the corridor from them, impassive and patient as a statue.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 320 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Tue 4 Nov 2008
at 16:59
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
Sakura sat and introduced her companions. Kedo, of course, was already known to the messenger but the others would probably not have been.

"No direct knowledge, no" Sakura said answering the question, "but with so much chaos going on we would be remiss in our duties if we did not at least let you and your protectors know."

"They are here and we are looking for them. What they will do is a question that no one can answer at the moment."
Moto Gyatso
 player, 50 posts
Wed 5 Nov 2008
at 10:01
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
Clearly not comfortable around the Imperial representatives Gyatso keeps his distance, adopting the same lurking outside the doorway with Kedo. Inside he hears the faint murrmer of voices but for now chooses to ignore this, reasoning that should matters take a turn for the worse within it would become very audible very quickly.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:10, Thu 06 Nov 2008.

Miya Shiko
 NPC, 29 posts
Sat 8 Nov 2008
at 04:04
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
"Are they a danger, Daidoji-san?" Miya Shiko asks, pouring three cups of tea, "obviously they are dangerous--but do they pose a danger to the city or the empire?"

"Please Moto-san, Kedo-san," the Shisha smiles, "join us for tea."
Kedo
 player, 195 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sat 8 Nov 2008
at 10:18
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation

 Kedo, who's not shown his face yet and who's outside the room, doesn't hear a conversationally-pitched invitation of course and remains right where is is, carefully not insulting a thousand years of someones ancestors by going armed into their private chambers - even if they aren't the Miyas own personal ones but rather a set of apartments set aside by one of the oldest guardian families in the Empire for the use of an Imperial representative...
Miya Shiko
 NPC, 30 posts
Tue 11 Nov 2008
at 03:55
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
"We need to consult with Kedo-san, Shisa-san," one of the Seppun Miharu bows, taking Kedo aside, but not out of eyeshot of his charge, "please continue while we do so."

"Very well," Miya Shiko smiles, "so tell me more about this threat, please, Daidoji-san."

***

"You are well versed in the niceties for a ronin, Kedo-san," the Miharu says admiringly, "and quite talented with a blade--I saw your display with Kakita Tsutomu-sensei--you are no ordinary ronin.  So tell us, what do we need to know to protect Miya-sama?"
Kedo
 player, 196 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 11 Nov 2008
at 04:24
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation

 Kedo does not blush - he is a Bushi trained from the earliest days of his life to know his emotions and to master them, to ride them like the unicorn ride their steeds, with perfect understanding, and by so doing overcome the limits they place upon thought and action.

 This does not however, mean that he does not find it hard to quell the unjustified pride he feels at being both addressed as an equal by one of the most prestigious guardians known to the Empire, but even complimented upon his talents... unfortunately however, there's only so much he can say - trusting to providence that he says it to men who can be trusted not to have fallen under the influence of whatever spawn it is that supposedly stalks the city.

 "Your kindness is considerable Miharu-san." he begins, not quite daring to voice the inevitable joke that it would be a braver and more talented Ronin than he who would date to be anything less than impeccably polite in a city of the Crane, "But there is little I can tell you. The attack in the bath houses was curiously precise yet laughably crude, performed by men who had been trained to fight as though they were Scoprion and trained well, but without technique." - he turns his head slightly, indicating the doorway through which the bulk of the interview is taking place, "Daidoji Sakura has ventured the theory that these killers were in fact hunting the victims of some nameless shadow, one that like certain Oni is vulnerable to the elemental purity of crystal. She suggests that three such victims tracelessly replaced the guardians of Doji Kusanagi and attempted his life earlier this evening, for reasons of their own."

 His hands smoothly part, indicating helplessness before unveiling events, "Whether she is correct will no doubt come to light in due course, but for the moment it would seem that all there is to be done is to follow the wisdom of the Crab and hope that it will be understood by our hosts."

 In other words, be nasty, paranoid bastards who put safety first, good manners second for a day or two, rather than balance them gracefully.
Doji Akibieden
 player, 158 posts
 My job, hold the line.
 You win the battle!
Tue 11 Nov 2008
at 19:15
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
Aki sits quietly at attention waiting until he is addressed directly before he speaks again. His thoughts coming here where of mostly a martial bent and now once again he finds himself just another observer to the goings on of the castle.
I have to report to my superiors immediately.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 321 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Thu 13 Nov 2008
at 20:09
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
There was a slight delay before Sakura replied.

"You have already seen part of what they are capable of with your own eyes" Sakura replied cautiously, "but not all. I believe that they were instrumental in the demise of the General, and we know that they conspired to kill the Lord of this City. We also know that they operated in broad daylight, attacking to ensure that you got at least one of your messages through."

"These all but never operate in broad daylight, and rarely in groups. That they did so is ... troubling at best. And now we know that they are here ... but why?"

Sakura paused for a moment, gathering her thoughts.

"I am trained to be suspicious ... and at times paranoid. The military situation is dire, but what of the post-ware consequences? No matter who wins, Lion or Crane, Toshi-Rambo will be a place of chaos. A chaos that serves our faceless enemy well."

"What you don't know is that a select few of these creatures are capable of wielding dangerous magics, magics which only a handful of Shugenja are capable of countering."

"In fact, other than myself, the only ones I am personally aware of are the Ishi of the Phoenix clan."

It was a mild lie. The Shosuro Tejina, "Deceivers" such as herself, could in fact counter it as well -- but deceivers were rare even before the bloodshed and carnage of the Coup and Clan Wars.

Now they were practically non-existent.

"Of course" Sakura said, motioning for Gyatso to enter, "I am not privy to the secrets of the Unicorn. I know that Moto Gyatso-San and Asako Suleiman-San know some things about this threat as well, things which I do not ..."

"As I said, I am trained to be suspicious ... but I find it a bit too suspicious that all of this happens in the moments before our New Emperor is to visit our fair city. The Empress* could undoubtedly counter this threat without even a thought -- if she is around at time."

"I cannot say for sure that this is the case, but I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention the possibility to those whose duty it is ..."

[ 1) IIRC, it is "public knowledge" that Kaede was the Master of Void. Is she Oracle of Void at this point? If so, is that public knowledge? That might make a difference as well ...]
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 368 posts
Fri 14 Nov 2008
at 23:44
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
"There was an attack on the bathhouse?  and on Doji Kasarugi-sama?" Miya Shiko's yojimbo says, shocked, then calms, "it must have come to naught as you are here and not a messenger from the Crane informing us about a change in leadership.  Crystal then," the Miharu says, all business, "and perhaps a test of those who come calling.  Go," he nods to his partner, "and be discreet.  No sense in causing a panic."

***

"I do not believe that the Empress intends to grace us with her divine presence at this time, Daidoji Sakura-san," Miya Shiko replies, "though I will send word as I may to inform the Emperor of this danger.  However, chaos serves many purposes, not all of them evil.  Be wary of digging too deeply, after all, there are the Otomo to consider.*"

make an awareness/courtier roll, TN 15, the political maneuvering emphasis applies
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 323 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Sat 15 Nov 2008
at 00:21
Re: Chapter 5 - Imperial Dispensation
[19:13, Today: Daidoji Sakura rolled 36 using 6d10, dropping the 2 lowest rolls, rerolling max with rolls of 1,(10+6)16,1,9,3,8. Awareness/Courtier. ]

"As I said, Miya-Sama" Sakura replied respectfully, "it is my job to be suspicious. If it is well enough known that the Empress will not be here, then this would be a perfect time for the enemy to strike, ne?"

"But, you are correct -- It could be nothing more than a ruse ... "

She paused for a moment.

"I hate to be suspicious once again, but will you tell me when you have verified, upon the Emperor's arrival, that the message was received ...?*"

[This is a polite way to request verification of the message "at the source", e.g. to make sure that the Seppun are aware of and prepared for any attack when the Emperor arrives. If not, Sakura will probably have to change her plans ...]