Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days.   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: archive 0
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 388 posts
Fri 23 Jan 2009
at 18:04
Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
The holding cells for Toshi Ranbo are a procedural nightmare.  First, there is some confusion as to who is being brought to be detained:

"All right, what's the ronin's name and what charges are you bringing against him?"
"What?  This ronin was in collusion with this Unicorn to smuggle cups into our city?"
"The Lion are sending in ronin spies to open our gates?"
"This ronin was one of the attackers in the bathhouse?"


Then there are some difficulties with getting the prisoners released into your custody:

"You're who?  With what rank?  Here to do what?"
"Didn't some Daidoji already come to interrogate these people?"
"The Lion are attacking now and you need all hands on the walls?  But who's going to guard the prisoners?"
"You want which prisoners again?"


Finally, after much wrangling, you manage to get access to the prisoners:

"They're in cell twelve, if you want to take them out to interrogate them individually, room sixteen is open."

OOC:  make an awareness/etiquette check, the bureaucracy emphasis applies, to see if you got any information out of the bureaucratic wrangling ^_^
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 337 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Fri 23 Jan 2009
at 23:04
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
[How many of the "assassains" were captured? I thought that there was only one?

Probably made it. 18:02, Today: Daidoji Sakura rolled 30 using 6d10, dropping the 2 lowest rolls, rerolling max with rolls of 3,5,(10+5)15,3,2,7. Awareness/Etiquette.
1]

Kaze no Kage
 GM, 389 posts
Sat 24 Jan 2009
at 22:44
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
OOC:  there was only one assassin captured, but they don't keep their prisoners isolated from each other.  All the guards know is that you want someone in cell twelve--these guys aren't samurai, they're barely competent enough to be ashigaru.
[Private to Daidoji Sakura: the guards are extremely nervous--even more than would be expected given an immanent seige; a high ranking samurai--probably a Daidoji--was here at some point and then left, with orders not to mention their presence]
Kedo
 player, 206 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sun 25 Jan 2009
at 00:46
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days

 Kedo accompanies Sakura at a discrete distance, maintaining his accustomed watchfulness over her until such time as the recent change in their relationship can be formalised by his handing her over to competent Daidoji guards - even into the dungeon depths where few of the guards are used to even seeing a Ronin unbruised, let alone one carrying a daisho and walking with the quiet, unspoken confidence of a battle-tested Bushi.

 But he still avoids having too much to do with the negotiation process - not only is Sakura far better at it than he is, she's a whole lot less likely to end up having to choose between a roomful of dead guardsmen or a space in a cell if she puts a foot wrong.
Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 7 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Sun 25 Jan 2009
at 01:21
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
As a general rule, the "ronin" Lin Ru-Fang did his best to stay about as far away from the prisons as possible. He regularly activities in Rokugan were one that an high, honorable samurai would have been locked up for long ago. It was only by being a person that people expected to act lowly coupled with the rational need for such a person so that good samurai could get their business done without shaming their families that he'd managed to remain safe and free.

The number of ronin locked up here only confirmed that he was indeed not at all alone in such endeavors. It seemed as though 'ronin' and 'criminal' were fairly equitable terms in this land. Nonetheless, following the beautiful Daidoji seemed to promise a profit and so he made no complaint following her here as well. He kept, what must seem at this point, uncharacteristically quiet around the guards. Although he was willing to chat up with an apparent openness and forwardness quite uncharacteristic of Rokuganians every person from an Imperial family member to a lowly hennin, he allowed Sakura to take the lead and deal with these soldiers.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 338 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Sun 25 Jan 2009
at 03:51
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
Daidoji Sakura walked into the room that had been indicated and looked around. She wanted to find the "assassin", of course, but she also wanted to look for other clues.

Too many webs were being woven.

Still, she had a purpose here. It was quite fortunate that the others had gotten away ... she hoped.

[If she finds him, she will order him to come with her.]
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 391 posts
Sun 25 Jan 2009
at 22:44
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
The prison cells of Toshi Ranbo are not luxurious by any stretch of the imagination, but neither are they draconian torture chambers either.  The walls are stone with manacled chains, but the mats are tatami and the chains are long enough for the prisoners to sit, lay down, or even pace a short distance.  Unfortunately, the chains are also long enough to strangle the prisoners, and it comes as little surprise to Daidoji Sakura, at least, that all of the prisoners in the cell--three in all, including the captured assassin and two petty thieves-- have been slain with their own chains.

In the distance you hear the footsteps of an approaching person, a young Kakita bushi by the looks of him--just past gemppuku.

[Private to Kakita Ichiro: Your own entrance into the prison complex is relatively unchallenged--no need to sign out or locate any prisoners, no paperwork generated for the guards, no problems entering.  Finding the motley collection of samurai is simple enough as they seem clustered around a single cell.]

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:20, Mon 26 Jan 2009.

Daidoji Sakura
 player, 339 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Mon 26 Jan 2009
at 00:29
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
Sakura approached the assassin's body and, stooping down begun to examine it carefully. She did her best, of course, to avoid touching it -- she had no time for the cleansing procedures that would have been required afterwards -- but she got as close as she could otherwise. She looked for signs of struggle -- or of seppuku.

"What happened here?" she asked the other prisoners, still examining the body.

[She's probably gonna need a couple rolls for this, ne?]
[Private to Kaze no Kage: I suppose it's too late to spend those 5 XP I have saved up on Investigation?  *grins*]
Kedo
 player, 207 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Mon 26 Jan 2009
at 01:59
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days

 Having gone to some moderate lengths to take the assassin in question alive - and more, to have recommended at the time of his capture that considerable efforts be taken to ensure that he live long enough to answer questions, Kedo might well be expected to show some slight irritation at the failure of the Crane to keep him alive.

 But instead there is simply a slight raising of one brow and a soft sigh of acknowledgement, as though what has happened here was no more than he might have expected.

 Leaving Sakura to study the killer he instead looks for a moment at the two thieves, trying to determine whether the trio were simply poisoned by a cunning hand, or whether a less subtle killer had managed to penetrate the depths of the fortress.

 ---

01:57, Today: Kedo rolled 25 using 6d10, dropping the 3 lowest rolls, rerolling max with rolls of 9,2,9,5,7,1. Looking curiously at the cell.
Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 10 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Mon 26 Jan 2009
at 05:28
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
Coming upon such a grisely sight was one to make most men's stomach churn. Ru-Fang was no exception and his face paled a bit at the three prisoners who seem to have been killed using their own chains. He knew that few made it out Rokugani prisons and believed he understood the political nature behind such-- but he still wasn't expecting this.

And yet, he felt he had to say... well... something. Something to break the heaviness, the tension, the tragedy. To laugh at the darkness of the world before it crept into one's heart and began to eat them alive from within. The best thing Ru-Fang could come up with, however, was to lean in towards Kedo and ask him in a hushed voice, "Is the Peacock clan always so good at interrogating prisoners?"
Kakita Ichiro
 player, 2 posts
Mon 26 Jan 2009
at 08:02
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
"Usually we're even better, I hear some criminal's die even before they reach the cells at all." The new arrival says with a well timed and appropriate bow to the assembled group as a whole, "I apologize for the rudness of my arrival, I was sent to guard the safety of an important emissary of the Unicorn Clan and was told he would be here..." Looking up from his bow Ichiro catches sight of the corpse hanging from its own bindings.  Shock and disgust play over his face but only briefly before he picks the Moto he'd been sent to guard out of the crowd, "Moto Gyatso-sama?  I am Kakita Ichiro of the Kakita Bushi School, I've been assigned as your Yojimbo."

[Private to Kaze no Kage: do you need me to make any kind of etiquette roll to not become sickened at the sight of the dead like that or anything?]
Moto Gyatso
 player, 55 posts
Mon 26 Jan 2009
at 19:03
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
Mostly silent in the prison, whether due to discomfort with the setup or just a general lack of anything to say, Gyatso reacted much as the others did at the sight of the body in the cell, surprise and a sign of shock on his face. More than that though he seemed annoyed. With a muttered sigh he glanced to the others still around.
"Fine. Another lead run down. Looks like we'll need to take even more caution from here on inwards."
Seeing the Kakita approaching them Gyatso stepped to one side to make room should he be there to join them. When the man actually proclaimed his purpose for being there the Unicorn could not suppress an slight snort, not quite of laughter but clearly he was surprised. Composing himself Gyatso adopted a more serious expression and shook his head firmly.
"A yojimbo? I believe there's some error there. I've no need or wish for a bodyguard. I'm sure you are a pleasent and capable individual but I'm not interested in having someone feel responsible for me and my actions."
Kakita Ichiro
 player, 4 posts
Mon 26 Jan 2009
at 22:02
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
At Gyatso's rebuff Ichiro bowed lower and held it longer talking this time without looking up from the ground, "I understand your feelings Moto-sama but never the less I have been assigned to guard your person in these most dangerous times.  To refuse to take me as your yojimbo would shame not only myself but my sensei, my family and my lord for putting their trust in me."
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 393 posts
Tue 27 Jan 2009
at 04:12
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
OOC:  okay, just to avoid confusion, all three prisoners in the cell have clearly been strangled by their own chains.  Feel free to edit your posts or not as you see fit ^_^

[Private to Kakita Ichiro: no need to make a roll for that, you're young, but not young enough that death would be a stranger to you--especially not after the carnage of the Clan War]
[Private to Moto Gyatso: random point, though you're probably already aware of it, court shugenja are routinely assigned yojimbo to handle challenges and such as most shugenja are sworn not to take up the arms of a bushi.  Generally the yojimbo are of their own Clan or an allied Clan, but given that you don't have one of your own and the Crane have basically drafted you into their service without even telling your daimyo, they're pretty much obligated to keep you alive any way they can ^_^]
[Private to Kedo: whoever did the deed was obviously very strong and not adverse to executing helpless prisoners.  equally obvious is the fact that no one questioned their being there--likely they were high ranking members of the Crane Clan]
Kedo
 player, 208 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 27 Jan 2009
at 15:36
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days

 "Someone had this mans final answer." remarks Kedo softly as he uses his hand - never close enough to touch the dead, polluted flesh - to indicate the ligature marks on the throats of both prisoners, then the assassin after them, "They were strangled with their own chains by a man or men of considerable strength." he observes thoughtfully before looking up at the newcomer for the first time, his eyes automatically passing over Ichiro's arms before the Ronin looks up to meet his eyes, "And whomever it was must have been able to pass as Crane - whether one with rank and authority themselves or bearing the authority of such a person."

 Rising he steps back from the corpses, nostrils twitching at the sewage-stench of death in a confined space and wishing - not for the first time this morning - that his bathing had not been interrupted by a whirlwind of blood and steel (for someone as fastidious as Kedo, having flecks of dried blood still in his hair is almost unbearable), "Questions should be put to the guards of this place, and to discover what became of the four men Doji Akibieden ordered place upon this killer at all times."

 Ah yes, details - Kedo's always been very good at details.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 341 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Thu 29 Jan 2009
at 00:07
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
"If you'll pardon the intrusion, Moto-San" Sakura said, rising from her position and withdrawing from the bodies, "I believe that there is a need -- but not what you are thinking."

"We have seen that you are more than capable in battle" she continued, looking at the Unicorn, "but with Kakita-San at your side you will not be challenged by our own. Thus you can wander about freely, investigating as needed."

"No Crane would foolishly challenge the honor of one of our Duelists, thus his testimony could both avoid bloodshed and open doors."

"Kakita-San" she said, turning to the Crane, "Moto-San is a very important member of my investigative team. We are searching for an enemy of which he may be the single best expert."

"Yoroshiku-Onegaishimasu*" she added with a polite bow.

[Usually translated as "pleased to meet you" or some similar, the context here is "I'm trusting you with someone important to me".]
Moto Gyatso
 player, 57 posts
Thu 29 Jan 2009
at 13:39
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
Sighing in evident aggravation Gyatso dropped the pretense of necessary courtesy and jerked his head in acknowledgement to Ichiro. "Get p please. I've little to no interest in people bowing to me as anything other the polite necessity." The Unicorn was growing noticeably more aggravated now, possibly due to the potential leads dying as much as this latest matter. "I, Moto Gyatso of the Unicorn clan, humbly thank the Crane for their concern about my wellbeing and greatfully accept their gracious offer of Kakita Ichiro expertise in safeguarding myself. There, will that meet everyone's standards for honour and appropriate behaviour?"

Shaking his head he glanced briefly at Sakura and grunted in annoyance. "I do not know about most knowledgeable about this matter. Based off the earlier conversation we had I suspect only two people have enough knowledge to combat this enemy. And one of them has been off on their own for some time now. Any suggestions about what avenue of exploration to follow with this one evidently of no use to us?"
Kakita Ichiro
 player, 6 posts
 Thats most interesting,
 do you play Shogi?
Thu 29 Jan 2009
at 14:20
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
Satisfied that he had filled his duty Ichiro stood upright from his bow before returning Sakura's in a manner appropriate to his station, "Thank you Daidoji-sama, I look forward to the chance to fulfill my duty and bring honor to my clan."

Turning back to his charge Ichiro bows slightly again before talking, "I believe the ronin-san's idea to be the most fruitful right now.  We should question the guards to see who besides ourselves has been down here today.  I can't imagine many would find reason to visit so the list shouldn't be that long."
Moto Gyatso
 player, 58 posts
Thu 29 Jan 2009
at 22:12
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
"No disputes with that one. Let's see if the guard has those details." Glancing to the others Gyatso waited patiently for them all to be off. No way was he going to ask the guards himself when these folk with actual authority were here.

[Private to GM: OC - And as soon as my new bodyguard ain't watching I'm using Death's Gaze to check him for the taint/Lying Darkness. Shapeshifting beggers that they are.]
Kedo
 player, 209 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Fri 30 Jan 2009
at 01:35
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days

 A faint smile of pleased surprise dances across Kedos features when Kakita Ichiro proves conclusively that someone's been listening and the young Crane swordsman is offered a slight bow of thankful acknowledgement - one that will no doubt become deeper once the group is somewhere better suited to introductions than this hellish pit.

 Once more he falls into the back of the group and, once it starts moving drifts along in the wake of his betters, watching over their safety and - perhaps as importantly - making sure that no stab-happy guardsman or hair-trigger wandering Crane made nervous by the talk of siege and assassins should suddenly come across a Ronin in the corridors and do what comes naturally.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 342 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Fri 30 Jan 2009
at 04:55
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
"Most certainly" Sakura replied, "but ... in the right fashion."

Sakura moved to where the Ashigaru were waiting. This time she was not quite so polite as normal, an important detail for the questioning that was to come. She turned to the lead Ashigaru.

"How long have you been here?" she barked her question.

There should be no doubt that trouble was afoot.
Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 11 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Fri 30 Jan 2009
at 07:26
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
Ru-Fang could not help but feel it was a bit odd to see these samurai doing greetings and debates in the middle of a dungeon while standing above the bodies of those who they were apparently supposed to question. These Rokugani samurai were a strange lot, deathly afraid to even touch dead flesh to the point that they waste perfectly good weapons and equipment and banish those who are involved in the necessary duties of handling dead bodies from the society entirely. And yet, here they were disrespecting the dead, even dead assassins, by holding a casual conversation above their bodies.

Still, he'd learned long ago learned to bite his tongue when it came to questioning such practices directly. Instead he folded his hand together before himself and gave a slight bow to the bodies as he made a silent prayer that their souls would safely find a passage to their proper places in the next life. Whatever acts they may have committed in life, there was no need to hold a grudge against the dead. Besides, he knew from example that begrudging the past only led to a troubled present and future.

He turned back slowly after rising up and looking over the newly arrived Crane clan member. He approached slowly before speaking up in a pleasant enough voice, "I must apologize, Kakita-san, for you have found us as a difficult place and time. Might I suggest that we continue pleasantries at a place less... troubled?" He did his best to come off as polite, hoping that the young samurai, and perhaps the others as well, could understand his being uncomfortable around recently fallen men whose body-bound spirits were not being properly attended to and whose souls were likely still close at hand.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 395 posts
Fri 30 Jan 2009
at 19:41
Re: Chapter 5 - Long Dark Days
"T-t-two days, Sama," the Ashigaru stutters in fear.

[Private to Moto Gyatso: there's no sign of Lying Darkness or other taint in your new Yojimbo]

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:09, Sat 31 Jan 2009.