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."