Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: archive 0
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 468 posts
Wed 13 May 2009
at 03:19
Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Doji Kasarugi, Governor of Toshi Ranbo, has obviously seen better days.  Wounded, bandaged, and probably still bleeding, he still cuts a formidable figure--particularly flanked by his unorthodox yojimbo, the former ronin, Kakita Tsutomu and the Daidoji irregular, Daidoji Kumo.

"I don't care what your fashion needs are Keiyoko-san," Kasarugi sighs with some asperity, "I am not sending a delegation to Unicorn lands for a shipment of silk this close to Winter Court!  You should have put in your request a month ago!"

"But Kasarugi-sama," she begs, "Banteki here left his home with the Crab with hardly any suitable clothing!  Tell him, dear."
Doji Banteki
 player, 2 posts
Wed 13 May 2009
at 04:54
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Banteki kneels dutifully at the side of his wife, his porcine eyes narrowed in concentration- the spitting image of martial attentiveness. It is lucky for him that neither his wife, nor the governor are aware that their words are penetrating his consciousness only as a vaguely annoying whine. His object of focus is, rather, the unpleasantly persistent discomfort in his bowels. He isn't exactly sure what had happened after that third bottle of shochu last night, nor precisely what damnable pit of Jigoku coughed up the sushi rolls he had dined on, but the reality of the situation was becoming... pressing.
"Eh?" He snaps to attention as he realizes that the whining noise has stopped, and the eyes of the governor are upon him. What had happened? Were they asking him something? Was it important? All Banteki wanted was for this audience to end, and soon, before events took an embarrassing turn. To say that his lovely Keiyoko-chan would kill him if he embarrassed her before the governor would not be an exaggeration of any sort.
"It is... as my wife says." That response was rarely, if ever, inappropriate.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 381 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Wed 13 May 2009
at 13:35
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
While it was a habit of Daidoji Sakura to overhear, it was not a habit of hers to interject. Hardly the epitome of Crane etiquette, Sakura knew enough to keep her mouth shut most of the time.

"Please forgive the intrusion, my Lord" Sakura interjected, bowing appropriately, "but there may be another way. The Ronin Lin Ru-Fang is quite good at finding things when they are necessary, and he appears to be quite trustworthy ... he comes recommended by the Imperial Families."

This had nothing to do with silk, of course -- something that Sakura was quite sure that the governor would pick up on.

Otherwise, she said nothing. Such a bedraggled crew leading a prisoner would undoubtedly say more than enough.
Moto Gyatso
 player, 85 posts
Fri 15 May 2009
at 07:42
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Shambling in looking even more battered and bruised despite his attempts to hide it Gyatso made only a brief bow, lowering himself to the necessary level, to those in the room before heading to one side, wincing as he moved. Bowing his head the shugenja carefully began seeking the water kami in the area, intending to provide himself with some healing before trying to continue further through the pain.
Kedo
 player, 250 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Fri 15 May 2009
at 08:29
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...

 As the day progresses, Kedo is presenting a steadily less reassuring figure - he began it badly enough as a Ronin, albeit one that quite plainly had clan ties of some sort since almost no-one outside of the Dragon Clan would possess such extensive artwork as that revealed to be hiding beneath his simple Bushi clothing when he visited the bathhouse.

 Afterwards of course he was bloodstained and wounded - and still a Ronin. Now, some hours later he's gone a considerable way beyond merely bloodstained as for his most recent battle he was actually dressed, which means that drying blood crusts his kimono as well as plastering his visible skin - the mere fact that he's left his Daisho on the lowest rack of the display stand outside the Governors quarters (despite any protest, disagreement or logical argument he might have received when doing so) doesn't do a whole lot to redress the balance.

 Still, he stands in his usual guarding position beside Sakura - so obviously he feels there's still some use he can be, even disarmed.
Doji Kanisai
 player, 24 posts
 Crane fealty,
 Crab heritage.
Fri 15 May 2009
at 11:54
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
In walks a familiar figure within the governor's residence; one of the recently appointed yojimbos, Kanisai walks with his usual brash demeanor tempered by where he is.

His hard eyes, looking out of place within the strong Doji body, checks the room for trouble as he bows deeply to the governor and those present.  Kanisai cuts an impressive figure of his own, his Crab heritage showing forward in his frame and by the dark blue and black accents to his normal kimono.

After checking the area clear, he goes back to the doorway and after signaling to Sayuri, he brings in the Harrier that he was instructed to keep watch over.

"Kasurigi-sama, I bring Daidoji Sayuri as requested.  As we were returning from her home, we stumbled across a battle.  Those involved will have better knowledge of the battle itself, as I was performing my duties as temporary yojimbo to Sayuri-san.   This man was captured and I was directed to escort him."
Daidoji Sayuri
 player, 19 posts
Fri 15 May 2009
at 13:10
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sayuri arrived with the rest of the crew, her face by now seeming to have settled into a near-permanent annoyed frown. Of course, she hadn't just been through seven layers of Jigoku, she'd just been called away from her meditation and given no answers in particular.
Doji Banteki
 player, 4 posts
Sun 17 May 2009
at 05:34
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Banteki twists his neck- or rather, the lumpen trunk of meat between his beard and his chest- to the side to watch the battered gang of samurai enter, lifting a bushy eyebrow at their state of disarray.
"All this trouble, just to keep me in the latest fashions. What's wrong with what I've got now?" It's not clear if he's joking, as he looks down at his faded and stained kimono. "Perhaps I should take my leave. It looks like my lord governor has more pressing matters at hand?" he asks hopefully.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 476 posts
Wed 20 May 2009
at 02:12
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Kasarugi blinks in surprise at the entrance of so many people he has seen so recently--in worse shape than when they were last here--and at Kanisai's announcement--after all, one does not send a yojimbo out simply to retrieve a shugenja and expect prisoners.

"No, no, Banteki-san," Kasarugi replies absently, "stay, please--the...expertise offered by your relatives may be needed.  You are dismissed Keiyoko-san..."

"Well, I never!" Keiyoko huffs angrily, "you'd better make a good impression Banteki," she hisses into her husband's ear, "or you're going to be awfully lonely at night!"

"All right," Kasarugi grumbles, "why is it that whenever I see any of you someone is bleeding or dead?  Never mind, don't answer that, at least it's not me this time.  Well come on, someone tell me what happened!"
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 383 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Thu 21 May 2009
at 01:50
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sakura waited just long enough for the dismissed personnel to leave before answering the governor's question.

"We went to the Imperial section, where we discovered that the Emperor will not be accompanied by his wife for this Winter Court. We then went directly to the prisons to interrogate the would-be assassain."

Sakura paused, a pause that said "bad news follows".

"The guards had been reassigned by none other than Daidoji Tokagero and Daidoji Ryu. However ... only Daidoji Tokagero* visited the assassin."

"I went to see the assassin, only to discover that he -- and those with him -- had been choked to death by someone with tremendous strength -- and who was tainted by the Lying Darkness."

"This person was not consumed by the Lying Darkness, but had been tainted by it."

"On the way back, I was warned that the Harriers in this city had been assigned to kill me when we were attacked by a squad that included this prisoner. A Scorpion -- the one who wears the mask of Honor* -- identified them as well trained warriors having the training of the Elite Daidoji Irregulars."

"We also have testimony from two peasants. Normally I would not pay much attention to this since their testimony is not admissible, but the Dragon Magistrates who were assisting me were also attacked -- most likely by Harriers -- to prevent their testimony from reaching us."

"This problem" she continued, this time with some intensity, "cannot be taken care of by trial. It must be kept quiet, to the greatest extent possible."

Sakura moved behind the prisoner as she spoke.

"It is my hope that Daidoji Ryu has been mislead -- I did not sense any Darkness when I spoke to him, though admittedly I was not looking for it -- and that the troubles have been caused entirely by Daidoji Tokagero."

"If this is the case, then the Daidoji in Toshi Ranbo can be saved and the city can withstand the Lion Assault. If not, the Crane are in for more trouble than one could imagine."

Sakura whipped around to face the captured Harrier.

"Tell me, Samurai!" she snapped, "what reason were you given for attacking one of your own?!"

She was no Kitsuki.

"Speak! The Governor is awaiting your answer!"

[Interrogation results: 38 + Free Raise
1) Daidoji Tokagero is the Lord of the Daidoji in Toshi Ranbo, right?
2) Bayushi Kenshin's description says that his mask has the character for Honor inscribed on it.

21:48, Today: Daidoji Sakura rolled 38 using 9d10+5, dropping the 5 lowest rolls, rerolling max with rolls of 5,6,1,1,3,(10+8)18,3,4,3. Awareness/Investigation (Interrogation).
]

Kitsuki Toshirou
 player, 27 posts
Thu 21 May 2009
at 02:22
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"A thousand pardons," Toshirou says, realizing he is interrupting something.  "But I believe your interrogation would be difficult to carry out without information most vital."

Bowing deeply, probably deeper than necessary, Toshirou introduces himself. "I am Kitsuki Toshirou.  Kitsuki Fuji-sama and Kitsuki Ryoma-sama were recently attacked, though their yojimbo drove the assailants off.  The wished me to bring Akira here, with all haste; I believe he has material information on the scheme afoot.  Again, I apologize for interrupting your business--I would not be so rude in anything but the most urgent of circumstances"
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 480 posts
Mon 25 May 2009
at 04:23
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"One of our own," the captured samurai spat, "how are you one of our own?  I don't know you, no one in the City knows you, all we know is that you come here with a wild tale on your lips and people start dying!  I keep my oath to protect the Doji, can you say the same?"

"You are most welcome, Kitsuki-san," Doji Kasarugi replies to the newly arrived Dragon, "and Akira?  You are Mitsumoto's son are you not?" not waiting for an answer from the peasant, Kasarugi returns his attention to Toshirou, "why have you brought him here?  What is this testimony that he has to give?"
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 386 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Mon 25 May 2009
at 19:13
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Among the Scorpion, there were two types of idealists. The first were those like Bayushi Kenshin, Jun Shin who believed in the tenets of Bushido and did their best to merge Honor and Duty. The second were those that truly believed in the Kami Bayushi's task, to protect the Emperor -- and by extension, the Empire -- from things which his eyes were too honorable to see.

Shosuro Kasumi was the second type.

It was, therefore, with an ironic honesty that she could answer the Harrier's question in the affirmative -- her duty was the protect the Left Hand of the Emperor from that which they could not see.

And that meant protecting the Doji.

"Yes."

Her voice was much calmer now, almost as if the bound Crane had answered her true question. She turned to the Dragon, looking for signs that he was one of the famed Kitsuki Magistrates. Normally she would have considered one of their order to be a very bad sign, one of the few that could unravel her cover and destroy all that she had worked for, however this situation was far more important than one lone Scorpion Spy's cover.

The Emperor's soul was at stake.

"I have not had a chance to hear this testimony either" Sakura said, "though, given the source, I am sure that it will be most ... valuable."
Kitsuki Toshirou
 player, 28 posts
Tue 26 May 2009
at 06:42
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Kaze no Kage:
"You are most welcome, Kitsuki-san," Doji Kasarugi replies to the newly arrived Dragon, "and Akira?  You are Mitsumoto's son are you not?" not waiting for an answer from the peasant, Kasarugi returns his attention to Toshirou, "why have you brought him here?  What is this testimony that he has to give?"
"My pardon, Kasuragi-san, but I was merely instructed to bring him here.   However, if I may speculate?  The attackers who injured Ryoma-sama and Fuji-sama were clearly attackers off opportunity.  They had a task in mind other than destruction, which is why they fled when Mirumoto-sama thwarted them. And they were not after my lieges, or if they were they were truly unprepared."

The Kitsuki pauses thoughtfully, straightening his green and yellow kimono. "I suspect the most sensible conclusion is that they wished to silence a witness to a crime, and in their desperation attacked a force they could not hope to withstand."

The investigator turns to Akira. "But I humbly beg fogiveness for engaging in such guesswork.  Akira-san himself can certainly enlighten us?"
Kedo
 player, 251 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 26 May 2009
at 14:07
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...

 It's all getting just a tad complicated now, with new faces and new facts sliding into place one by one (even if it's difficult at times to remember that the only fact some testimonies offer is the fact of the testemony itself, a heresy by the standards of the vast majority of Rokugani but a lesson Kedo absorbed at the side of a singularly irascible old magistrate).

 And so the battered, blood-stained Ronin simply stands quietly, watching events unfold in front of him, remaining close enough to Sakura that he can interpose his empty hands between his charge and any possible threat whilst waiting for the moment of clarity that will untangle the knot forming before him and let him return to simple, safe concerns... like helping fight a Lion army or trying to match a Kakita smith.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 482 posts
Wed 27 May 2009
at 04:25
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"I-I-I am j-just a-a h-h-humb-b-ble s-s-serv-v-vant, s-s-sama," Akira stutters, "b-b-but I-I-I s-s-saw D-d-daid-d-doji R-r-ryu-s-s-sama c-c-coming out of-f-f D-d-doji Kus-s-san-n-nagi-s-s-sam-ma's r-r-room, c-c-cov-v-vered in-n-n b-b-bl-l-lood..."

"You're a damn liar!!!" the captured samurai screams, struggling against his bonds, "Daidoji-sama would never do such a thing!"

"That is an unexpected and unfortunate report," Doji Kasarugi replies.

OOC:  and if I was really a stinker, this is where Kasarugi would reveal that he was actually an agent of the Lying Darkness and start attacking you--unfortunately, I didn't think of that twist until just this moment, and it would be unfair to spring it on you without having given you guys the opportunity to have learned about it earlier...on the other hand, there are plenty of other clues you haven't investigated, so I suppose I could have hidden those hints and you wouldn't have found them ^_^

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:31, Fri 29 May 2009.

Daidoji Sayuri
 player, 21 posts
Wed 27 May 2009
at 05:07
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
OOC: DO IT!
Doji Banteki
 player, 5 posts
Wed 27 May 2009
at 19:46
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Banteki stares at the chaotic interrogation unfolding before him, momentarily distracting him from his gastric torment. Seeing the poor peasant blubbering before his betters, a pang of sympathy strikes him, and he rises from seiza to take the man fimly by the shoulder.
"Easy now, son, easy. You're obviously shaken up, seeing things. Before you say anything you don't really mean, let's get you settled down a little." Banteki turns back to the governor. "If you care to call upon my family's expertise, I recommend that this fellow and I step out for some... fresh air, by your leave." He punctuates his counsel with a firm slap to Akira's back, enough to make him lurch forward in an awkward bow.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 388 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Thu 28 May 2009
at 01:17
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sakura ignored the Samurai's outburst, choosing instead to focus on the Hemin.

"Akira-San ..." Sakura said using a calm tone. Getting a person to relax was most often a matter of tone, both physical and verbal. Right now Sakura needed to calm the Hemin down ... and possibly the Samurai as well.

"please think carefully, Akira-San -- did Daidoji Ryu-Sama appear to be injured in any way? Was he limping, clutching an arm ... anything unusual other than the blood?"

This was a critical question, though most of those remaining here would not know  it. In fact, Sakura doubted any but herself and Kedo would remember the relevant clues ...
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 487 posts
Thu 28 May 2009
at 05:09
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"I-I-I d-d-don't r-rec-call-l, s-s-sam-m-ma," Akira stutters.

"Kumi-san, Tsutomu-san, take the prisoner and Akira to the next room," Kasarugi commands, "guard them with your lives."

"Hai, sama," Daidoji Kumi bows, following her lord's command.

"You bring grave accusations at a time that we can ill afford them," Kasarugi sighs, "on top of our other concerns.  I suppose it is too much to hope that the Daidoji Ryu that Akira saw was an impostor like the others?"
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 392 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Thu 28 May 2009
at 13:04
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"That is possible, my Lord" Sakura replied. "we also know that at least one of the assailants -- there may have been more than one -- was wounded."

"In either event, we have several problems to deal with ..."

"We". That governor had his problems, but so did Sakura. She was, after all, the other one* tasked by Doji Kuwanan in the city.

"First: many of the Daidoji in this city have been corrupted, and some Tainted by the Darkness. I originally surmised that the two were related, but it may simply be a matter of ... expedience on the part of the Darkness."

"This can be fixed, though I am at the moment at a loss as to how. The second is a real problem."

"Second: The note I found spoke of grave consequences in court should any accusation of dishonor befall the Crane in the defense of the city. The effects of this on Daidoji morale should not be underestimated. Nor should the consequences on the city's defenses be ignored."

"It is, if you'll pardon the metaphor, as if the Crab were told to stand on the Kaiu Wall without Jade, Tetsubo, or Shugenja; or a Kakita Duelist being told that a duel would be with the Tetsubo."

She paused for a moment.

"I am certain" she said, looking to the others in the room, "that there are also possibilities that I have overlooked ..."

[1) As noted, this was originally an entire team. This takes a completely different connotation now that she's the 'lone survivor' from that group ...]
Doji Kanisai
 player, 26 posts
 Crane fealty,
 Crab heritage.
Sat 30 May 2009
at 09:38
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Kanisai was not much for interrogation, rather action.  He did turn a particular eye to Banteki.  The man was obviously not of Crane heritage; the looming figure reminded him of his Grandfather...  He tuned out most of the conversation, as he hadn't been directly addressed yet.  He did chuckle a little to himself at Sakura's analogy.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 491 posts
Thu 4 Jun 2009
at 03:52
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Wonderful," Doji Kasarugi mutters, "just wonderful.  Now, considering all of our problems, does anyone have any solutions?"
Kitsuki Toshirou
 player, 30 posts
Thu 4 Jun 2009
at 04:19
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"The eyes of the Kitsuki are at you disposal," Toshiji offers. "I know little of this Darkness that may taint the Daidoji..." It's obvious from his inflection that he recognizes the Darkness as a name, rather than a mere description. "But with Doji-san's assistance, I'm sure I'd be able to root them out."
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 394 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Fri 5 Jun 2009
at 02:40
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"I have several ideas, Kasarugi-Dono*" Sakura replied demurely. "The most direct -- and probably most dangerous -- would be for Kedo-Kun and myself to visit Ryu-Sama. We could quickly determine if he was infected; if not, he may be persuaded to listen to reason. Perhaps even answer a few questions."

"My other ideas are ... 'half-baked' at the moment, and not worthy of presentation. I need to visit the Asahina libraries ... and meditate on the situation a bit more."

She then looked to the others present once again.

[Dono -- "Lord". Sakura's track record in this adventure is pretty bad, and she knows it. She's hoping someone picked up on something obvious that she missed ...]

[Private to Kaze no Kage; Kitsuki Toshirou: Re: the 'half-baked' comment -- a rough translation: "Don't ask about my other ideas, you wouldn't like them and I'd hate to lie to you anyway ..." Her honor is a flat 0.0; she's talking about something dishonorable, and most likely illegal. You know, something like "Good night, sleep well. I'll most likely kill him in the morning ..." (Wesley, "Princess Bride", with my apologies to the author). I'll let you two decide if Toshirou picks up on that, but I would personally expect it.]
Doji Banteki
 player, 8 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2009
at 03:01
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Banteki's eyes are fairly well bulging out of their sockets at this point- half from incredulity, half from discomfort. How angry Keiyoko-chan will be, he thinks, if I should die of a ruptured bowel before the Governor.
He listens to the tangled web of intrigue the samurai spin, until the urgency of his conditions forces him to speak.
"This Daidoji Ryu-sama... does he care for drink?" His eyes are as plaintive and hopeful as those of a child on the day before the Festival of Hotei.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 395 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Fri 5 Jun 2009
at 03:14
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sakura chuckled.

"I like the way you think ..."
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 493 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2009
at 18:07
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"And do your 'half-baked' ideas include a solution to the Lion army soon to be laying siege to our walls, Daidoji-san?" Doji Kasarugi asks, "I am expecting a readiness report from Taisa Yasuki Daisetsu soon and I've heard a report from Daidoji Kumi regarding Kedo-san's...unconventional battle plan, but I am unconvinced that we will be able to hold off the Lion without additional forces at our disposal."
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 396 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Sun 7 Jun 2009
at 20:10
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"I have approached the Scorpion, Kasarugi-Dono" Sakura replied with a hint of embarrassment, "and they have promised us a reply shortly. Sadly, my task from Lord Kuwanan did not go further than this ... his concern was about what the Scorpion Clan may do, and his time short."

"I am certain, however, that we could approach a few of the other clans as well, though I am not the one best suited to do so ..."

[Private to Kaze no Kage; Kitsuki Toshirou: This is 100% true -- Doji Kuwanan brought it up and Sakura took advantage of it ...]
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 46 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Sun 7 Jun 2009
at 20:34
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Kenshin's wound had slowed him down a bit, however he was not one to shirk his duty. As he approached the Governor's mansion, he went over the etiquette in his mind. This was not his specialty, but he would do it well.

Or try at any rate.

"Sumimasen ..." he said to the guards, "would you please tell the Governor that Bayushi Kenshin is here to see him on behalf of the Scorpion Clan ...?"
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 496 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2009
at 20:54
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"How...convenient," Doji Kasarugi says, looking hard at Daidoji Sakura when word of Bayushi Kenshin's arrival is brought to him, "very well, let him in, let's hear his proposal."
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 47 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Sun 7 Jun 2009
at 22:10
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Kenshin had paused earlier only long enough to change his Kimono and ensure that he was presentable. While he waited he arranged himself a bit better, ensuring that he would not embarrass his Lady nor his Clan. When word came that the governor would see him, he turned his blade over to the guards and entered.

He noticed that there was a rather large group with the Governor, and while he was no expert they didn't look like they were having a good time.

"Lord Kasarugi" he said with an appropriately deep bow, "guests of the City's Lord ..."

"I see that you are busy with important city business, so I shan't waste your time. I come with an offer of military aide against the Lion that will shortly come to our Fair City."

His mask, with the character of Honor artistically etched into it, and the Mon of the Kakita Dueling Academy -- the most prestigious dueling school in the Empire -- over his right shoulder made for an odd contrast with the typical trappings of the Scorpion Clan.

It was no accident that the Scorpion had chosen this Honest Scorpion to carry their offer.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 497 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2009
at 02:35
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Well that seems quite timely," Kasarugi replies politely, still looking hard at Daidoji Sakura, "and what do the Scorpion ask for such aid?"
Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 32 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Tue 9 Jun 2009
at 08:35
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Ru-Fang, having seperated from the others when they took away 'his' prisoner earlier, had eventually made his way into the manor. He'd needed some time to regain his composure, clearly not used to dealing with bloody battles. He was a man with a silver tongue, a nose for gold and was quick to haggle. What could blade and bow deal with that cooperation and comprimise between honorable men could not?

It seemed much like his lack of sensability when it came to the finer distinctions of social classes, he was also quite naive when it came to the lying darkness. Yet another oddity to this strange, outlandish traveler from the 'East'. The later seemed to have come into play once he was inside the manor, for instead of daring to disturb the audience in session, he'd once again taken to chatting up a pretty young servant girl.

"How could you have never seen the sea?" he teases her softly, "Why, one cannot say they have lived until they've taken a deep breath of the fresh, salty air and felt the wind rush through their hair. It's been many, many months since I've seen the coast." he tells her as his eyes begin to drift off, "My family, you see, they sail along the coast from city to city trading goods and have for many generations. You can move out there much faster than on land, you see... But I've never been good at sailing, I decided to go inland and see if I could set up some new trade connections."

He looks back to the girl with a smile before continuing his previous description of the ocean which he was sure would be far more interest to her than the particulars of his pedigree, "But, the sunset on the sea is even more spectacular than on land. The colors of the sky sparkle through the fog, spread across the sea and mix together in the waves. They are a sight that no artists' brush can hope to capture.... oh, but perhaps I could bring a Kakita back to the coast with me to give it a try." After only a brief pause he scooted to her just a bit before questioning teasingly, "You don't happen to be a Kakita?"

One could only wonder if he was intentionally teasing that he'd mistaken her for a samurai or if he truly didn't realize that the servants didn't carry the same family names as the houses they served. Either way, it might make sense for it was incredibly unusual for even ronin to treat peasants with such interest and flattery rather than treating them merely as part of the landscape.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 48 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Tue 9 Jun 2009
at 20:26
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"'A blade that strikes late may as well not strike'." If it sounded like a cliche' from the dueling academy, well, that was because it was.

"In exchange for an alliance that would last for the duration of the Lion assault, all we ask is to foster a few of our young ones among the Crane for a year and a day."

Almost word for word. Almost.

"Both of our clans would benefit greatly from this fostering. After all, this time it would be voluntary ... and without such shame as that which accompanied my fostering to the Clan of Lady Doji, the beauty -- and the Wisdom of the Duty -- of the Crane will be much easier for our young ones to see."

"A healing gesture. I shudder to think what might have happened to me if it were not for my Sensei and Sempai ..."

Perhaps he shouldn't have ad-libed that last part ...
Kedo
 player, 257 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Wed 10 Jun 2009
at 00:00
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...

 As Bayushi Kenshin speaks - and offers his services to the Crane as token of a possible alliance between two of the most Courtly (if in different fashions) of the Great Clans, Kedo takes the opportunity to slip forwards, hopefully without drawing more attention than might already have been shot his way when a grubby, blood-soaked Ronin is singled out by the seniormost Bushi in the city as the source of some sort of tactical plan being given serious consideration by its leadership.

 The movement places him sufficiently close to Sakura that he can address her quietly, and since he lacks the Courtiers talent of speech that does not require the movement of lips, merely lowers his voice to the point where someone would need to listen to make out the words, rather than pretending that no speech is taking place.

 "You have need of a Yojimbo." he murmurs, a reminder that almost certainly need not have been given, and yet somehow seems to be perfectly timed given the way that things are unfolding.

 But then, Kedo's like that.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 397 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Wed 10 Jun 2009
at 00:33
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sakura nodded to Kedo in quiet agreement. It was beginning to seem as though the only way that things could get worse would be if Doji Kuwanan came marching in and demanded her Seppuku.

No matter, she would do whatever was necessary. This matter went far beyond a couple of clans.

Sakura said nothing -- for the moment -- waiting to hear what the Governor would say. Doji Kuwanan had given her permission to seal this deal, Governor or no Governor, but even Sakura knew enough about etiquette to try and allow the Governor to save face.

The Junshin, on the other hand, was on his own.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 498 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2009
at 03:21
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"That sounds reasonable," Kasarugi replies, holding up a hand to forestall any arguments, "we are desperate.  While the Scorpion have a reputation for untrustworthyness," he says, looking apologetically at Bayushi Kenshin, "beggars cannot be choosers.  Tell the Scorpion that we eagerly await their children...and, perhaps word of how many troops they intend to send?"

***

"Not me, Sama," the serving girl bows to Lin Ru-Fang, "I am not so high in the Celestial Order."
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 49 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Fri 12 Jun 2009
at 12:09
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Kenshin was glad that things went well for him in this first assignment. Not that he had thought it would go too poorly; he was well aware of the fact that he was the "Mask of Honor" for his clan, but if such were to be his duty then so be it.

"Gladly, Dono. By your leave ..."

[When given leave, he will proceed directly to Clan HQ to report.]

This message was last edited by the player at 12:10, Fri 12 June 2009.

Daidoji Sakura
 player, 398 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Fri 12 Jun 2009
at 13:28
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sakura waited until the Scorpion had left before she spoke up again.

"What word from the Mantis?" she asked politely, "I remember that someone was sent to speak to them. Has anyone approached the Unicorn? Or the Dragon?"
Kitsuki Toshirou
 player, 31 posts
Mon 15 Jun 2009
at 20:15
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"The Dragon have been approached, lady Doji."  He nods.  "Alas, the recent attack delayed any decision, as my lords heal their wounds and ensure to their further security."  As the words leave Toshirou's mouth, he realizes that they could be interpreted as an insult, implying that the Crane could not protect his lords in their own land.  Then again, the Crane couldn't, apparently, so perhaps his words were out of place.  Nonetheless, the young dragon steeled his face and hoped that the assembled samurai would overlook the gaffe.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 501 posts
Tue 16 Jun 2009
at 23:44
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"The Mantis have requested our duty as representatives of the Minor Clans, Doji Kasarugi replies, "and I, for one, am loath to give it to them--especially with aide forthcoming from the Scorpion.  But considering the loss of Doji Kusanagi and the likely loss of Daidoji Ryu and Daidoji Tokagero..."
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 400 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Wed 17 Jun 2009
at 13:10
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"There is nothing that the Mantis can do to make up for that" Sakura interjected politely. "It seems to me that, much like the Scorpion, the Mantis are not trusted -- "mercenaries". Further, it seems to me that their request is much greater than the other."

"But, in the end, that decision is yours alone ..."

She still had not been given permission to leave.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 508 posts
Tue 23 Jun 2009
at 00:22
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Very well," Doji Kasarugi nods, "I shall think on this, in the meantime, go on about your duties...unless you have further business to discuss with me?"
Kedo
 player, 261 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 23 Jun 2009
at 00:57
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...

 And though Sakura has not yet spoken of her need for a replacement for the blade that has brought her this far alive and well, Kedo offers a deep and respectful bow to Doji Kasarugi and retreats, his stride seeming somehow lighter despite the blood and desperation that has dogged it since his arrival within these walls.

 He does not turn of course, but he is unmistakeably drawing away from the woman who has until now been his ward, with the obvious intention of going about errands of his own.
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 10 posts
 Shosuro Butei
 Academy actress
Tue 23 Jun 2009
at 02:06
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Finally spotting the governor's house, Sumi smiled. She shook her head at what she considered her own stupidity. How she could have gotten lost trying to find it baffled her completely, yet it happened. She let out an obvious sigh of relief and hoisted her pack higher up on her shoulder and adjusted her kimono as she approached the expansive dwelling and began looking around for someone to welcome her. It would be extremely rude to barge in unannounced.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 405 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Tue 23 Jun 2009
at 14:49
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Kedo-Kun has run his course as Yojimbo, so I need to find a new one" she said with politely, "but I do not wish to burden you with my concerns."

"By your leave ..."
Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 35 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Tue 23 Jun 2009
at 23:11
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
When the new woman entered into the governor's manor, the merchant's gaze could not help but be drawn to her. Her manor of dress certainly seemed to be "out of fashion" for this city afterall-- he wasn't even certain he'd seen a member of the family before. Although he had extensive dealings with the family now known as Yoritomo, he hadn't been in contact with the Tsuruchi so much.

Although he did not speak up himself, he did indicate to the girl he was previously lavishing his attention upon that a new visitor had arrived. "Well, do not allow me to keep you from your duties any longer-- it seems another has arrived to speak to the govenor."
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 512 posts
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 04:15
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Take Daidoji Kumi in the interim, Sakura-san," Doji Kasarugi says, "I doubt that I will need more than two yojimbo for the time it will take either you or I to find a replacement."

As Daidoji Sakura departs, a servant enters announcing the presence of Tsuruchi Sumi and Lin Ru-Fang.

"Please, come in, both of you," Doji Kasarugi says generously, "how may I help the two of you?"
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 406 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 13:06
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"You're most generous my Lord" Sakura returned with a polite bow. Then she headed to find Kumi.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:52, Wed 24 June 2009.

Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 13 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 13:37
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sumi had seen someone look at her, she was certain of it at least. So, she knew that had best get some attention otherwise she could be left standing around forever. She took a few tentative steps forward and called out rather quietly, "Konnichiwa...?"
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 517 posts
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 22:25
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Tsuruchi-san, Lin Ru-Fang-san," Doji Kasarugi nods as they enter, "how may I help you?"

***

In the adjoining room, Daidoji Sakura finds Daidoji Kumi and Kakita Tsutomu waiting with the still frightened Akira.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:47, Wed 24 June 2009.

Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 14 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Thu 25 Jun 2009
at 01:39
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sumi moved completely into the room, but only by a few steps before bowing to Kasarugi. "Oh, hello Doji-sama. Please, excuse my tardiness, it is shameful. I was instructed to ask if you have had time to consider Yoritomo-sama's offer?"
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 521 posts
Thu 25 Jun 2009
at 05:55
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"I have," Doji Kasarugi bows, "but it seems a high price to pay--a price that affects the entire Clan--for scant aid for a single city, though it be the jewel of the Crane.  For such an offering, a commensurate price should be offered.  Do you not agree?"
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 15 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Thu 25 Jun 2009
at 14:38
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Oh yes, Doji-sama," Sumi replied. "I do agree. But, are things not being offered to your liking Kasarugi-dono? Surely, Yoritomo-sama is not offering less than what he is asking, only that perhaps what is being offered is not so obvious and that he hoped you might have seen a hidden benefit where others did not."
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 409 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Thu 25 Jun 2009
at 15:01
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Daidoji Kumi-San" Sakura said with a polite bow upon entering, "I am in need of a Yojimbo and Kusaragi-Dono has kindly offered me your services ..."
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 522 posts
Thu 25 Jun 2009
at 22:54
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Enlighten me then, Tsuruchi-san," Doji Kasarugi replies, raising one arched eyebrow, "Yoritomo-san has made an offer which seems less than beneficial to the Crane, and even were I inclined to accept--and trust me, the temptation is strong--I could not do so without the approval of my Champion.  And were I to bring this proposal to him, I'd need to bring somewhat more than two or three kaisha of the finest Mantis samurai and the word of a single Tsuruchi courtier."

***

"Daidoji-san," Daidoji Kumi bows, following the Daidoji shugenja to the library.

"Daidoji-san," Sakura's new yojimbo says quietly as they proceed, "you are much in the company of the Scorpion Clan of late.  Recently, I made a request of Soshi Manami-san regarding a...personal matter.  Perhaps after your investigations we might visit their offices to further both of our concerns?"

[Private to Daidoji Sakura: way back in Chapter 4 there was a thread called Scorpion Complications, were you ever informed about the details from that thread?]

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:06, Thu 25 June 2009.

Daidoji Sakura
 player, 410 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Fri 26 Jun 2009
at 01:26
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"The investigation is essentially over, Kumi-San" Sakura replied quietly, "It is the cleanup that is missing. And for that I must think for a while ..."

"I will likely be quite some time in the library ... and I suppose I should make a personal visit to thank them on behalf of Doji Kuwanan-Dono before I do ..."

[We can head to the Scorpion residences first ...]
[Private to Kaze no Kage: I had read it, but that was a year ago so I had completely forgotten ...]
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 16 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Fri 26 Jun 2009
at 05:47
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"And the word of a Tsuruchi courtier who does not even fully represent her clan is not worth much." Sumi said while hanging her head a little. She did however nod in apparent understanding. "I trust that Kasarugi-dono understands that I am unable to speak of anything for certain and that anything that passes from these humble lips might only have the substance of rumor if it were to become known by more than he and those he must confide. If that is understood, then it should also be understood that there is indeed more than a few kaisha Mantis samurai to be gained in the offering. Yoritomo-dono has many supporters."
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 523 posts
Fri 26 Jun 2009
at 06:24
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"And now we come to the crux of the matter," Governor Kasarugi smiles, settling back to examine the Mantis, "you misunderstand the basis of my dilemma, Tsuruchi-san.  It is not the number of troops that the Mantis and their allies may bring to bear--though, of course, the implication that the Mantis have more than their own name to call upon will not leave this room--rather, it is the essential inequality of the exchange.  For the Crane to relinquish a duty granted to us by the Emperor himself that we have held in trust for generations, well, it's worth is far more than even the city of Toshi Ranbo."

[Private to Daidoji Sakura: then move over to the problem with questions thread with Bayushi Kenshin ^_^]

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:39, Fri 26 June 2009.

Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 17 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Fri 26 Jun 2009
at 06:54
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Clearly I did misunderstand Kasarugi-dono, please forgive my ignorance." Sumi replied with a deep bow. "Would the Crane not be fulfilling their duty by making a strategic decision that not only preserved Toshi Ranbo, but perhaps even benefited the empire afterward? Would not the Emperor himself commend the Crane's foresight and wisdom? I admit, my mind finds it difficult to grasp all the subtleties of your duties Kasarugi-dono, but would not that equal your sacrifice?"
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 528 posts
Mon 29 Jun 2009
at 02:43
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"What will and will not benefit the Empire is a question better left to historians and scholars, Tsuruchi-san," Doji Kasarugi replies, "we can only know the full impact of our actions in hindsight at the remove of years.  Come now, surely the Mantis have more to offer than soldiers and empty promises?"
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 18 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Tue 30 Jun 2009
at 04:02
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sumi realized quickly that she may have overstepped her bounds with what she said and so bowed deeply in apology. "Of course, Kasarugi-dono. Perhaps I was assuming too much and speaking too grandly. Please excuse me. I can assure you that the Mantis themselves have not offered any empty promises. Yoritomo-sama is a very fair man and resourceful. Whatever he has promised he will deliver. You must forgive my ignorance of the details however, I am rarely included in such important matters and was given this assignment quite quickly. But the offers are genuine."
Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 37 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Tue 30 Jun 2009
at 19:34
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Patience is one of those things one quickly learns when they are near scrapping the bottom of the celestial order bucket, so Ru-Fang was all too happy to allow the archer to entirely speak her peace and negotiate without interupting. Besides, he has good ears and the more he listens, the more he learns.

So Yoritomo's family were already moving in to take advantage of the situation? Well, he really wasn't too surprised by this development, afterall there were quite a lot of similarities between himself and the Yoritomo so he'd expect them to be looking for the same opportunities.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 534 posts
Wed 1 Jul 2009
at 00:43
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Perhaps I have misunderstood the Mantis proposal, Tsuruchi-san," Doji Kasarugi concedes, "please present it once again, as if I had not heard it before."
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 20 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Wed 1 Jul 2009
at 01:44
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Yet again, Sumi bowed respectfully before speaking. She tried to speak with confidence, but it was a confidence that she did not truly feel. "As I understand Kasarugi-dono, the Crane is having difficulty with the Lion and offered an alliance to the Mantis. However in order for Yoritomo-dono to accept the alliance and do battle with the Lion, he would need to legally represent the minor clans, which I believe is a right that the Crane have. Is this true so far?"

"I wonder however, Kasarugi-dono, if Yoritomo cannot bring the Mantis to battle because the right to represent is denied to them, how many of the minor clans would turn out to fight for the Crane, who has not been a minor clan themselves and who has no connection to them? It has already been guaranteed to Yoritomo that they will readily join his banner. The Crane may force them to fight as is their duty, but how effective will they be if forced? I suspect less so than if they truly band together behind someone. I am no general however and should not pressume to understand how samurai will behave."
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 537 posts
Sat 4 Jul 2009
at 19:38
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
OOC:  ...did you mean to accuse the entire Crane Clan of political corruption?  you just implied that the Crane would use their position as Minor Clan representatives to force the Minor Clans to help them militarily.  The Mantis (or the Crane) might invite the Minor Clans to help, but they wouldn't (and couldn't) force them to do so.
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 21 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Sat 4 Jul 2009
at 20:21
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
OOC: Err... No, that was not really my intent with that. Well, it kind of was, but I sort of had it in mind that was how it worked, not quite as underhanded as it sounds now, so kind of yes, but no. I hope that kind of makes sense. I probably should have worded it a little different.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 539 posts
Sun 5 Jul 2009
at 01:40
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
OOC:  okay, just wanted to be sure ^_^ I'll go with the most favorable interpretation of your words then--though next time I'll make you roll ^_^

"And why would we request support from the Minor Clans, Tsuruchi-san?" Doji Kasarugi replies, raising one eyebrow, "the role of the Crane as representatives of the Minor Clans is a duty to represent their interests in court--for which the Crane receive, nor expect, any recompense--not a treaty by which we offer political incentives in exchange for military favor.

"But we were not discussing the Minor Clans,"
he smiles, "but a political/military treaty between two Great Clans--specifically, the Mantis and the Crane.  The Crane would greatly appreciate military support against the Lion from the Mantis, and the Mantis would like to represent the Minor Clans.  These two things are not mutually exclusive, but for such an auspicious event to occur, the Mantis would need to offer somewhat else than military support--after all, such support should be reciprocated in kind."
Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 38 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Sun 5 Jul 2009
at 10:24
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Although Ru-Fang would have been quite pleased not to get involved, he couldn't help but find himself speaking up before he knew what he was doing. "Although the followers of Yoritomo are the closest of allies of my family, I feel as though there has been a mistake made by sending you with this offer, dear ambassador."

He bowed just a bit before raising a hand up as though to show he were unarmed, "Mind you, I am but a simple ronin... a waveman, a wanderer who traveled from family to family doing what I can to create economically pleasing conditions for all. However, it seems to me that our govenor here, for all his glory and power, is not in a position to offer what you want in exchange. Perhaps more critically, however, I believe the Usagi, the Tonbo, the Kitsune... I am sure they'd all be quite concerned that if Yoritomo-sama were to obtain such a position, he'd use it to punish those who did not fall in line behind his banner-- or did not follow it to its eventual end."

He glances briefly to the governor with a humble, but knowing look before returning his gaze to the Tsuruchi, "In fact, I might even dare to suggest that merely hearing that Yoritomo-sama sought such a position would be quite enough to spur many of them into action to do all in their power to see that he does not get it."
Kedo
 player, 271 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sun 5 Jul 2009
at 12:27
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...

 Not too much later than when he left - a matter of a half hour to an hour or so - the presence of the Governor of Toshi Ranbo, the bloodstained and battered Ronin who goes by the name of Kedo returns, once more going through the ritual of presenting himself to the spotlessly presented Crane Guardsmen outside the audience chamber - only this time without the authority of a magistrate to see him through.

 Although he does have a rather interesting letter...
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 543 posts
Tue 7 Jul 2009
at 02:21
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Given the contrariness of the Minor Clans in general, and with the Crane in particular," Doji Kasarugi replies to Lin Ru-Fang, "that may be a tempting reason to accede to the Mantis request all on it's own."

"Sama,"
a servant bows at the door, "the ronin, Kedo, who was here before, has returned."

"Please see him in,"
Kasarugi commands, "Kedo-san, what brings you to return?  Not that you are not welcome, only I thought that your interests lay elsewhere?"
Kedo
 player, 272 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 7 Jul 2009
at 09:55
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...

 The appelation of a respected suffix to the name of a mere Ronin now without position or sponsorship in the courts of the Crane is... to say the least, rather a surprise and Kedo's deep and profound bow does nothing but convey gratitude for the concession (though perhaps it's deep enough to chide just a little, as though the Ronin is even more aware of his place than the Governor).

 "I have been charged with an errand Lord, and with your permission, complete it thusly." replies the gray-clad man, offering up the letter on both hands to the nearest suitable servant (and most certainly not approaching the governor of the city directly as though he had a right to do so) for delivery.
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 22 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Tue 7 Jul 2009
at 16:14
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sumi had taken a step back and remained silent while the newest ronin, Kedo, was shown in to deliver his message. It suited her fine to wait for the side business of the governor to conclude. The first ronin, Ru-Fang had rankled her a bit with his comments and caught her off guard a little. She was not prepared for this meeting. He was right, perhaps a mistake had been made, but not the one he thought.

As soon as it was polite enough for her to speak again, Sumi stepped forward. She was not worried about interrupting the ronin, but did not want to do so to the governor. She did address Ru-Fang. She wanted to finish her talk with Kasarugi before letting the ronin distract her so much. "Kasarugi-dono, of course you are correct, the Mantis would need to offer more than just military support. I am honored that you would see fit to test my knowledge of family history, as I can only assume that is the source of your question. Otherwise... well, I am certain that you could not have forgotten that the Yoritomo family is not the only one that makes up the Mantis clan and that the Tsuruchi family, themselves previously a minor clan, were all proclaimed Emerald Magistrates, and were founding members of the Three Man Alliance. I do not know what else you feel needs to be offered than military support, but if a family of such distinction in a great clan cannot provide it, I am not sure that it could be offered by anyone. Indeed, who could better represent the minor clans than Tsuruchi himself?"
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 544 posts
Fri 10 Jul 2009
at 04:02
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"That would indeed answer Ru-Fang-san's concerns," Doji Kasarugi replies distractedly as he reads the letter, "but that still...Fortunes DAMN that man!

"My apologies,"
he bows, "I suddenly have more pressing concerns.  I will invite you back at some later point, but please leave."

[Private to Kedo; Lin Ru-Fang: as you leave, a servant wearing the Doji mon asks you to follow her]
[Private to Tsuruchi Sumi: as you leave, a servant wearing the Kakita mon asks you to follow him]
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 23 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Fri 10 Jul 2009
at 04:17
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sumi quietly does as requested and after giving Kasarugi a respectful bow, backs up a few steps, then turns to walk out. On the way out, having noticed something peculiar, she follows it.

[Private to Kaze no Kage: That being the Kakita servant.]
Kedo
 player, 273 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Fri 10 Jul 2009
at 10:38
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...

 A small smile passes helplessly across Kedo's face as he reaches the low point of his bow, not one of smugness or superior intent, but simply an acknowledgement of the way in which the world never ceases to surprise and amaze as we move through it - and occasionally, just occasionally put the boot right in.

 Rising, he retreats a few steps and - with a slight nod of acknowledgement to Lin Ru-fang, moves to accompany the servant when she politely but inexorably requests his presence, hoping faintly that there will, please, finally be a chance to bath at the end of this short journey.
Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 39 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Fri 10 Jul 2009
at 10:58
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Ru-Fang frowned a bit as it seemed he would be dimissed before he even had a chance to present his counter-proposal to the Tsuruchi's offer from Yoritomo. He'd already calculated a way to break the Akodo blockade, but without a chance to speak it he could not present it.

But, then again, his idea did put him in a good bit of danger and the profit wasn't guaranteed to be high. And no matter which family owned this city, it wasn't as though his position changed at all. Thus, having not been asked for his reasons for being here he accepts being dismissed, clasping his hands together and bowing graciously before turning and leaving.

He also exchanges glances with Kedo, noting how that ronin seems even more dirty and injured than just a couple hours ago. Perhaps that spot of trouble he'd encountered earlier was trouble that plagued the other ronin's every footstep.

Pausing as a servant in a powder blue robe motions for him to stop and follow he gives her a wide, pleasant smile before piping up in a jovial voice, "Ah, good evening, miss. May I be of assistance?" again, he seems to be incapable telling the difference between a servant and a samurai, but treats both with a friendly and relatively respectful manner.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 547 posts
Wed 15 Jul 2009
at 02:21
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
PM
[Private to Tsuruchi Sumi: The servant leads Sumi to another set of offices, those of Kakita Asakura--the aging commander of Toshi Ranbo's armies, with the death of Doji Kusanagi, and the highest ranking Crane beneath the Governor.  Upon entering the servant whispers somewhat lengthily in Kakita Asakura's ear before departing.

"Well, Tsuruchi-san," Asakura bows, "it seems that more immediate concerns have caught up with our illustrious Governor.  I hope that you take no offense that you must negotiate with this old man," he smiles, before proffering a cup of steaming tea, "tea, Tsuruchi-san?  I always find it helps to talk with something to drink, and negotiations such as this one often involve more than a little talking."
]

[Private to Kedo; Lin Ru-Fang: The servant leads Kedo and Ru-Fang back to Doji Kasarugi.  "My apologies to take up so much of your time, gentlemen," Kasarugi says brusquely, "but time is quite suddenly of the essence.  Lin Ru-Fang-san," he says, handing the ronin a scroll and a small box, "you have served the Crane well in the past and I expect you to continue to do so.  Your instructions are in that letter, we can negotiate the contractual fee later.

<blue>"Kedo-san,"
he says, looking at the other ronin, "dealing with you promises to be somewhat more problematic.  The Crane does not have a long term contract with you as we do with Lin Ru-Fang-san, but your battle prowess and combat expertise are valuable assets which we would like to retain.  Daidoji Ryu writes that you are not interested in a long term contract, but would you be open to service to the Crane for the duration of this siege?  You would, of course, be rewarded handsomely, but I think that love of koku is not the force which drives you."
]

[Private to Lin Ru-Fang: the note reads:  There is a sealed door within the prisoner complex.  Inside the box is a key, use it to unlock the door, but do not enter with an open flame.
Doji Kasarugi is aware of your role as a Crane agent, and is trusting your with a mysterious but obviously urgent task.
]

[Private to Kedo: though I doubt Kedo would be tempted, he would nonetheless be aware that he could ask the hand of Kakita Kaori as his price; he might also ask to train with the Kakita smiths or any number of other things which would aide him in his personal quest that I can't think of off the top of my head ^_^]
Kedo
 player, 274 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Wed 15 Jul 2009
at 02:42
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...

 Kedo, when he returns is once more made acutely aware of the degree to which he shames his very existence by his presentation - the crusted blood under his fingernails seems to itch all the more moment by moment, and yet he allows little of it to show upon his face, consoling himself with the fact that every drop of that blood - both his and others - was shed in the defence of his hosts, in one form or another.

 He does however, have a slightly curious smile when he rises out of his bow towards the Lord of the City, one that as ever hints at the mind of a man who just doesn't see things quite the same as those who live in the mundane world of the everyday...

 "Since choosing to aid Daidoji Sakura-san and come to Toshi Ranbo, I have received hospitality in this beautiful city Lord." he replies simply and honestly, "Where I was raised, it was said to be the mark of a churlish soul not to repay hospitality with loyalty in time of struggle." - smoothly, and with deft control his hands rise and part, as though to express the dilemma of a man caught up in the fate assigned to him, "If there is any honour due from my deeds, it properly belongs in the hands of those same teachers who set my feet upon this path."

[Private to GM:  It's just occurred to me that there's a certain alarmingly delicious quality of 'one riot, one Dragon' to Kedo's arrival in the city, where in two days he's proven to be a master tactician, philosopher and deadly swordsman out of all proportion to his years. I can't resist yanking his chain a little by implying (even if Kedo just thinks he's being gently humourous) that he's here at the behest of his Clan to support the Crane subtly... and that he's all they think will be needed to effect the outcome - which is such a beautifully Dragon thing to do. ^_^

 As for price - well, his true love isn't available as a bargaining chip. The deal is (from a senior and well-respected swordsmith of some considerable rank) that she cannot wed anyone who cannot match her fathers steel. This of course broke her standing engagement, earning him shame and Kedo an enemy, but it's not subject to being casually set aside or it already would have been... Otherwise, so long as The Boss gives me time to finally talk to people and get a damn' bath free of ninjas... I'm well up for helping out. ^_^
]

This message was last edited by the player at 02:44, Wed 15 July 2009.

Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 40 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Wed 15 Jul 2009
at 05:00
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Lin Ru-Fang slipped the box into his robes almost subconsciously as his eyes went over the note. An expression of puzzlement quickly appeared on his face, an indication that the note must certainly contain something quite different than he had expected to see.

"This sounds quite a bit outside my usual areas of expertise, Doji-san..." he commented quietly, "Typically my tasks involve economic regulation and stimulus or finding items of great rarity and ensuring they end up in the right hands..."

He pauses briefly before speaking again on a subject of greater interest to him, "Speaking of which, I wanted to suggest the possibility of indirect trade with the Yasuki to arm the peasants. With the Shadowlands having grown so quiet, the Hida and Hiruma have a glut of weaponry, but a shortage of food... Of course, they cannot assist you directly or it'd be considered an act of war." a quick grin appeared on his face for as soon as he pointed out the problem he offered the solution, "However, if they were to sell them to a reputable ronin and the supplies happened to end up in the hands of peasants and ronin in this area who happened to find it in their interest to blockade the Akodo's blockading troops... well, they could hardly be faulted for that."
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 24 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Thu 16 Jul 2009
at 06:51
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
PM [Private to Kaze no Kage:
Sumi bowed deeply and respectfully once she and the servant reached Lord Asakura's office and saw him sitting there. She then said nothing further until he was finished speaking, but did find a place to sit if it seemed she was invited to, which it did when he offered tea.
"Hai, please Asakura-dono. Tea would be most welcome. It is good perhaps that no such concerns have troubled you, if I assume correctly that we have considerable talking to do."
]
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 549 posts
Sat 18 Jul 2009
at 06:38
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Excellent, Kedo-san," Kasarugi bows, respectfully dismissing the ronin, "a messenger will find you when preparations for our battle require your presence.

"That is an excellent plan, Ru-Fang-san,"
the governor nods, acknowledging the other ronin, "one which we shall need to discuss in more detail--after you have completed your delivery.  Once that is done, return here to discuss your plan with those most suited to aide you in carrying it out."

[Private to Tsuruchi Sumi: "Indeed we do, Tsuruchi-san," he smiles, taking a sip of the tea, "but let us not lose sight of the important things in life.  Now, as I understand the current situation, the Mantis are offering military aide in this one battle with the Lion in exchange for permanent rights to represent the Minor Clans in Court.  I'm sure you can see why my lord Governor--and any other Crane--might balk at such an uneven exchange."]

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:07, Wed 29 July 2009.

Kedo
 player, 275 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sat 18 Jul 2009
at 11:30
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...

 Kedo's answering bow is once more low, respectful and remarkably well-formed for a Ronin, and as he flows out of it he moves to depart without turning his back, slipping out of the door without a word (as he recognises a dismissal when it's given, couched in terms of honour though it might be) and promptly starts making his way to the only bath-house in the city where he's both sure of it's location and he expects that his greys will be overlooked in favour of recognition...

 ...hopefully the bodies should have been cleaned away by now, the Crane are good at that sort of thing.
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 27 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Wed 29 Jul 2009
at 00:47
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
PM...
[Private to Kaze no Kage: Sumi took a sip of her own tea as she listened to Asakura. When it came time for her to reply, she took a moment to consider her words and then spoke. "Hai, I can see Asakura-dono. I understand the reluctance. However, perhaps the exchange could be modified to where it does not seem so uneven. The Mantis seek something permanent, perhaps in exchange their offer could be lengthened. Would that ease the Lord Governor's concerns. The trade would not seem quite so uneven then."]
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 558 posts
Sat 1 Aug 2009
at 18:20
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"A generous offer indeed, Tsuruchi-san," Kakita Asakura nods, "but while the Crane's request for assistance is immediate, it is not, I think, permanent.  And I would hate for us to be the cause of so many of your people to be stationed so far from the oceans that are their home.  No, something less...strenuous for both parties is in order here...perhaps some sort of trade agreement?"

OOC:  I'm moving it out of pm since it seems that we're no longer in danger of getting our conversations confused ^_^
Lin Ru-Fang
 player, 41 posts
 Traveling Merchant
 I'll buy and sell you!
Mon 3 Aug 2009
at 09:56
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Ru-Fang is still quite concerned about the details of the mission he was given. However, he has not survived in Rokugan for so long nor made so many friends by flatly turning down missions from a local govenor.

Taking a heavy breath he forces a smile before bowing to the govenor. "Of course, sir. I shall do as you request at once." However, realizing that he-- a simple merchant, is being sent back to the place where the previous group is ambushed before he does make a simple request, "Is there an ashigeru available that you could send to accompany me? With the city in its heightened state, I am a bit concerned about safety. Unlike other ronin, I am not well versed on the ways of melee combat."

It wasn't entirely true-- he could take care of himself quite well with his large dao sword if necessary, he simply preferred to allow others to do the fighting with swords while he chose to fight with words and coin.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 559 posts
Mon 10 Aug 2009
at 01:44
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Of course, Ru-Fang-san," the governor replies agreeably, pulling on a bell cord, "three ought to be enough to defend you from the vagaries of chance considering the threats you have already faced.  Just...leave them with the guards.  No sense is them spreading gossip, if you know what I mean."

As the governor speaks, three spearmen dressed in the colors of the Doji bow and enter.

"You three will accompany Lin Ru-Fang to the prison and back, keep him safe with your life."

"Hai, sama,"
they bow.
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 30 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Tue 11 Aug 2009
at 02:01
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"A very wise solution, Asakura-domo. A trade agreement. I am certain would be a welcome suggestion to the Mantis. What would you suggest as the terms of this agreement?" Sumi asked, hoping that she wouldn't overstep her authority.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 565 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2009
at 01:29
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Exclusive trade rights for Mantis goods for five years and favored trade status thereafter," Kakita Asakura replies.
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 31 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Wed 12 Aug 2009
at 01:50
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sumi nodded once, slowly as if considering the offer carefully. "Certainly an attractive offer. I must ask you indulgence before I become too distracted, but this agreement is in addition to the Mantis gaining the right to represent to the minor clans, correct?" Sumi felt that she needed to clarify that point since she felt that she was in danger of being double-talked.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:50, Wed 12 Aug 2009.

Kaze no Kage
 GM, 566 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2009
at 02:39
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
OOC:  by the way, exclusive trade rights to Mantis goods means that the Mantis will only be able to trade with the Crane.  This would result in extreme financial hardship for the Mantis and would likely result in their eventually becoming Crane vassals.  Kakita Asakura set his negotiating price intentionally high.

I think I'll start asking for Awareness/Commerce or Awareness/Courtier for continued negotiation.

Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 32 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Wed 12 Aug 2009
at 03:17
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
OOC: Ah. I see. I was taking that entirely the wrong way then. I was under the belief that he meant the Crane would only buy goods from the Mantis for that many years. It would put a hardship on the Mantis to supply the demand, but it would mean that the Crane was obligated to buy from the Mantis.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 573 posts
Tue 18 Aug 2009
at 02:54
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Yes, indeed," Kakita Asakura agrees, "after all, the duty of protecting the Minor Clans and mediating their disputes is not a duty lightly taken up."
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 33 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Tue 18 Aug 2009
at 17:13
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Indeed, and it should not be taken so lightly," Sumi answered. "However, I would like to know more about the trade agreement portion of this pact. To which side would it most apply? Would the Crane trade exclusively with the Mantis for goods during the five years, or would the Mantis need to limit themselves to trading only with the Crane for that time?"
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 575 posts
Thu 20 Aug 2009
at 04:14
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"Well," Kakita Asakura temporizes, "I can't imagine that either of our Clans have everything that the other needs, but certain goods--native to the Mantis Isles--would be traded exclusively to the Crane."
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 34 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Thu 20 Aug 2009
at 04:30
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sumi studied the Kakita carefully for a moment. "Are there certain goods that the Crane need?"
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 578 posts
Tue 25 Aug 2009
at 03:02
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
"There are certain goods that only the Mantis can provide," Asakura replies, "delicacies of the sea, rare fruits and spices, things that would make the Mantis courts the envy of any in the empire."
Tsuruchi Sumi
 player, 35 posts
 Butei academy actress
 Meek and very beautiful
Tue 25 Aug 2009
at 05:56
Re: Chapter 6 - the problem with answers...
Sumi, enjoying the verbal sparring replied, "Would, Asakura-dono, or do? Surely the Crane courts envy none but perhaps the Emperor's, do they?"