Chapter 7 - Something About Steel.   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: archive 0
Idun
 player, 5 posts
Mon 24 May 2010
at 12:26
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Watching the other ronin move in Idun fell into his wake, focusing on the foe not currently engaged by Idun. Unlike the other man who seemed to move into a slightly more aggressive stance Idun himself favoured forcing the opponents making a move, drawing close until they were forced to strike at him then attacking back when he had chance. The samurai moved in a rather minimalistic manner, favouring small movements that did not overly expose himself when he acted. He also kept an eye on his fellow, prepared to try to assist with any sudden changes in the flow of Kedo's attack.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 745 posts
Fri 4 Jun 2010
at 02:31
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Daidoji Yukito breaks his defensive pattern, blocking with the edged side of his naginata, but following with an advancing return strike from the weighted, blunt end.  From the other side, Kakita Ginta doesn't miss a beat as he advances with a low cut to Kedo's right side.  The two of them together, forcing Kedo to retreat--though had he been fighting in his customary style, he might have been able to hold them at a standstill.

[Private to Kedo:  your observations of their defensive patterns show that Yukito has particular holes in his defense which Ginta is prepared to defend should an enemy attempt to take advantage of them.]

Doji Shinichi, maintaining the line, advances with his allies, his dual weapons lashing out at Idun, not so much to force him back, but to prevent him from making any offensive maneuvers towards Kakita Ginta.

[Private to Idun: Shinichi appears to be fighting more independently than the other two, though you are not yet certain that you can take advantage of that fact.]

In the rattle and clack of wooden blades, the Fortunes make known the secrets of the world to Moshi Reiko.

[Private to Moshi Reiko: I used an online I-Ching reader like you suggested, feel free to do the same ^_^

The present is embodied in Hexagram 46 - Sheng (Pushing Upward): There will be great progress and success. Seeking to meet with the great man, its subject need have no anxiety. Advance to the south will be fortunate. the sixth line, divided, shows its subject advancing upwards blindly. Advantage will be found in a ceaseless maintenance of firm correctness. The situation is evolving slowly, and Yang (the active masculine force) is gaining ground. Yang (New) Yin (New) Yin (New) Yang (New) Yang (New) Yin (New)

The future is embodied in Hexagram 18 - Ku (Decay): Great progress and success will come to him who deals properly with the situation. There will be advantage in efforts like that of crossing the great stream. Weigh well though, the events of three days before the turning point, and those to be done three days after it.

The things most apparent, those above and in front, are embodied by the upper trigram K'un (Earth), which is transforming into Ken (Mountain). As part of this process, docility and receptivity are giving way to stillness and obstruction.

The things least apparent, those below and behind, are embodied by the lower trigram Sun (Wind), which represents penetration and following.
]
Kedo
 player, 347 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Fri 4 Jun 2010
at 08:35
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel

 Kedo's attack - which is patterned very much like the headlong but contained aggression common to a Lion charge, if lacking their refinement of technique - falters and fails to be driven back in a series of blurringly fast blocks as the pair of Bushi upon his flank not only repel him but force him out of range, earning a nod of approval from the Ronin as he breaks off and steps back to offer a slight bow, "I particularly admire the way that the exposure of Yukito-san's lunging strikes to drive back a foe are warded by Ginta-san's blade - you have practised together at length." he observes readily, waiting for his fellow Ronin to finish his own assessment and then moving on to strike at the other flank, likewise looking for weaknesses and strengths with the single stave before thinking of taking up a second.

 ---

 I don't think we need to draw this out too much, just one more turnaround for them coming at us to satisfy the requirements of a training montage set to a cheesy-inspirational power ballad and then we move on? ^_^
Idun
 player, 6 posts
Sun 6 Jun 2010
at 20:05
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Idun steps back only for a moment alongside Kedo, no comments to make or their style. At this point he was still analysing the fighters and considering the three. Having fought one he could make his anaylysis of them but at this stage it would be nothing more than an assumption.

Completely silent except for a some slightly strained breathing he stepped back in alongside Kedo, this time moving forwards of the Dragon and making a more forceful approach. Though still fighting in a defensive manner he approached the three bushi in a manner intended to force them to fight him. Though he might not be able to break through their defenses he could focus their attention on him and give Kedo the chance he needed to break through.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 755 posts
Wed 23 Jun 2010
at 05:58
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
With the change in opponents, the Crane adjust their response.

"Fall back as if you were injured, Ginta-san," Shinichi orders.  In response, Ginta falls back, taking up a high stance as if in preparation for morotte tsuki as Shinichi and Yukito close the gap, adjusting their maneuvers accordingly.  "After all, there is no guarantee that none of us will be injured and will have to fall off the line," he says by way of explanation.

Shinichi and Yukito are obviously not as practiced in working together as Yukito and Ginta, however, their differing styles allow for broader coverage than the single weapon used by Ginta.  The pair fall back before the furious assault of the two ronin  One of Shinichi's blades flicks Kedo's mere inches off target as he retreats, the other held ready as if to ward off an opponent farther to his left.  Yukito uses the extended length of his naginata to ward off Idun's weapon, keeping him out of striking distance, concentrating, not on striking back but on retreating.  Ginta, meanwhile, holds steady, ready to strike at any opening Idun or Kedo make in their advance on his seniors.

Hida Zenko waits watchfully near the entrance of the dojo.  His duty was to protect Kedo from his enemies and he couldn't do that if he was engaged in this admittedly interesting practice session.  From his vantage point, however, he could make useful observations as well as keep an eye out for unforseen enemies

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:49, Wed 23 June 2010.

Kedo
 player, 352 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Fri 25 Jun 2010
at 14:23
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel

 Kedo of course, would be quick to say that he has no enemies, only those with whom he does not walk in complete harmony... But he's a strange sort at the best of times, rarely more so than when he has a sword in his hand and lets his mind drift into odd, philosophical realms. Gracefully he complements Idun's assault, taking advantage of the other mans opening of the defences and then smiling with genuine approval as his stave is deflected mere inches from its target, stepping back in due course to offer a curt nod of approval, "As well-drilled as any Bushi I have had the pleasure to stand beside." he states before picking up his own second weapon and balancing it lightly in his hand, where it nestles like a hummingbird drinking nectar from an orange blossom, "But now Idun-san, it is our turn to weather the storm, that our best place in the struggle to come might be measured."

 ---

 I figure we make this the last descriptive go-around then head forth and see what adventures Kaze's got for us, what do you think Idun? ^_^
Hida Zenko
 player, 9 posts
 "the Little Crab"
 Yojimbo
Fri 25 Jun 2010
at 16:14
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Content for the moment to maintain his vigil, Zenko continued to watch the sparring pratice. He noticed a few thing he would mention to Kedo when the time was right, but for now he stood silent and still.
Idun
 player, 10 posts
Mon 28 Jun 2010
at 20:22
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Nodding his head in acknowledgement of the compliment Idun replies in a low voice to the other ronin, eyeing the second stave he now wielded.

"I thank you Kedo-san, hough I must confess it seems my own skill is insufficient for opponents such as this. Though whether they can get past my defenses will be the real challenge."

Dropping his stance to let his swordarm rest low behind him Idun eyed the fighters ahead, bringing his other hand up readying his fan to intercept incoming blows. His duty in this upcoming battle was to defend his charge from all possible attacks. This would likely include warriors such as this, and maybe in similar numbers.


OC - Sounds good to me.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 762 posts
Tue 20 Jul 2010
at 06:21
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Given the opportunity to attack rather than defend, Kakita Ginta grins with a maniac glee generally assumed to rest on the faces of the berzerkers among the Crab and the Lion.  Doji Shinichi and Daidoji Yukito, however, maintain their composure as they take more offensive stances.  Shinichi falls comfortably into the Fifth position of Niten--his shorter blade held before him as his longer weapon is held behind.  Yukito, however, takes an unusual position, leading with the weighted ball of his naginata rather than the blade.

And it is Yukito of all of them that strikes first, lunging at Idun with several rapid strikes from the butt of his weapon, before committing to a risky spinning strike with the blade to the ronin yojimbo's right side.  Simultaniously, Ginta lashes out with a lightning fast cut to Idun's left knee.  While quite talented, the ronin would find it difficult to do much more than defend while retreating from the well coordinated attack.  Shinichi continues to cover Ginta's vunlnerable side against Kedo's counter attacks, adapting Mirumoto's Niten to include Kakita's technique as his blade leaves the Fifth position in an iaijutsu strike.  Kedo's own skills are such that, with both his blades, he is able to exploit the miniscule space offered by Shinichi's barely imperfect integration of the two styles.  To advance, however, would leave Idun exposed.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:35, Sat 31 July 2010.

Kedo
 player, 356 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sat 31 Jul 2010
at 20:15
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel

 The mountain does not seek to advance; instead they are patient and they are unyielding, worn away only by the slow dance of the elements across their slopes secure in their eternal solidity. Like the mountains themselves, so then too do the dragons that lair in them know that there are times when all that can be said is 'here I stand, I can do no more' and resolve to hold their ground against whatever comes, knowing that only the elements themselves can grind them down.

 Kedo's eyes subtly go out of focus as he lets the world move at its own speed around him, and when his arms move it's almost as an afterthought, slow-seeming movements that carry the all-but forgotten staves as extensions of his body into lines that complement rather than counter the dances around him, gently guiding Sinichi's weapons into new lines that promise to extend the dance instead of ending it, moving out from time to time in order to cover one half of Idun's body from blows or sweeps that might impede his companions own dance, until at last at an unspoken signal he moves to take a pace back and end the spar when Idun himself is ready to do so.
Idun
 player, 11 posts
Sat 7 Aug 2010
at 17:41
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
As the blows came in towards him Idun only smiled fro a brief moment, recognising the skill of those before him. Concentrated attacks like this would be beyond most samurai to defend against, and if Idun was completely honest they were generally beyond him. He'd be unable to provide any sort of decent offense against them in the midst of a pitched battle.

Of course this wasn't a pitched battle. With only one samurai at his side and full awareness of how many other foes he was facing Idun had slightly more advantages than he ordinarily would. Defending against the attacks with slight, precise motions, intended not to block the blows but to divert them from him instead, the ronin moved his body only when he had to, using the reach of his stave to shift aside the far faster blow from Ginta and then in the same motion flicking the weapon across himself towards the blow coming from his other side. Behind him he could hear the sounds fo the other attacker being efficiently handled and adjusted his own defenses to take account for the man at his back, compensating his parry attempts to ward blows away from Kedo also.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 771 posts
Tue 31 Aug 2010
at 02:10
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Upon concluding the practice session, the three Crane Bushi bow respectfully to the ronin.

"I could've taken them both," Kakita Ginta grumbles, before Daidoji Yukito smacks him upside the head, prompting him to apologize shamefacedly.

"So there are some obvious areas in need of improvement," Daidoji Yukito says, in his businesslike manner, "Kedo-san, Idun-san, Hida-san, Moshi-san, you thoughts?"
Kedo
 player, 357 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sat 4 Sep 2010
at 20:41
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel

 For all the subtle disparities in skill and experience between the various Bushi who have moved through one another in the dance of blades, not to mention the difference in station between those with a family name to lend them honour and those who have none, Kedo's bow is deep and respectful enough to satisfy the touchiest Crane, even favouring Kakita Ginta with a wry smile when straightened and observing that "Notable masters of the sword have spoken well of confidence - it is a necessity if one wishes to cut. But it must be tempered with the knowledge that it cannot grant victory. Only the certainty that live, or die... one will cut."

 "In any case, I believe that our first instincts were the most reliable. We would need to be swordsmen by far better than yourselves to make worthwhile disrupting your obvious familiarity with one another in battle by our own placement." Kedo points out, glancing to the others with him, "I would therefore suggest that Idun-san and myself work upon your flanks in the event of open battle - letting the force of a charge break on your defence and then moving in to devastate it as it falters."
Idun
 player, 12 posts
Wed 22 Sep 2010
at 09:32
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
OC - Apologies to folk, somehow this fell off my list.

Bowing low to those who had given him the latest extensive workout Idun let his fellow speak first of all, his features blank as he considered the man's words and the fight they had just indulged in. When his time came to speak he responded quietly, considering each in turn.

"You complement each other better than we do. Wherever one lacks the others pick up. As a unit I have little to say other than to express a desire never to face you in ernest. As for how we would feature I agree with Kedo to a degree. Our abilities are not suited to meshing with the already existing cohesiveness you have. I believe we would function better seperately to support your existing teamwork."
Doji Toyozo
 player, 2 posts
Wed 22 Sep 2010
at 18:05
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
A screen slides to the side and into the dojo steps a tall but slender samurai. His facial hair is neatly trimmed and groomed. His hair is pulled back and up; it is black mostly but there is a streak that is stark white. Whether it is white by some sort of unique occurence or if it is merely the work of dye is hard to tell.

Dressed in clothes to spar in, his daisho is on his left hip.  The saya of his katana is a soft blue with white crane appearing across it, the crane are on the ground with one foot up and a wing extended outward on each extended wing sits a tiny green insect that upon closer inspection would appear to be a Mantis.

Doji Toyozo does not notice the collected bushi at first, indeed he seemed to be deep in thought before casting his eyes around the room. He paused, keeping his face even. An odd collection to be sure.

"My apologies for intruding. I am Doji Toyozo. I was just looking for a place to practice my kata. Will you be using the dojo for a while? And if so would it be a distraction if I were to practice off to the side?"

This message was last edited by the player at 05:16, Fri 08 Oct 2010.

Kedo
 player, 358 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 28 Sep 2010
at 10:01
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel

 With the mismatched group apparently coming to a consensus about how they're going to handle the upcoming street fighting and achieiving a measure of respect for one anothers skills (with the Ronin seeming to have an appropriate edge in lone-wolf combat and the Clan bushi the superior group training), Kedo is free to part-turn towards Toyozo's arrival and offer a polite bow, before looking to the Crane student who is their effective host - and whom of all of them is the only one with the right to extend the hospitality of the Dojo to one not already a student here.
Idun
 player, 13 posts
Wed 29 Sep 2010
at 16:28
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
At the arrival of the Crane Idun nodded to him immeidately, giving no other indication beyond the usual bow of a man to someone above his station of any feelings towards the newest arrival. Straightening he continued to listen for any further debate on the matter of the upcoming battle.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 776 posts
Fri 8 Oct 2010
at 03:13
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
"Of course you may, Doji Toyozo-san," Doji Shinichi bows, "we were just about to debrief regarding our recent training session.  Though..." he says thoughtfully, "you would be welcome addition to our discussion.  As you can see most of us come from non-traditional Crane schools, a more traditional perspective as we examine our response to the Lion would be welcome."
Doji Toyozo
 player, 4 posts
Fri 8 Oct 2010
at 05:20
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Toyozo nods, "It would be a pleasure, Doji-san, to observe this debreifing. I am curious what schools have you all studied at? And of course your names as well."

He smiles and his eyes drift to each man in the room assessing them each briefly for a moment before moving on to the next.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 779 posts
Fri 8 Oct 2010
at 16:54
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
"Of course, Doji-san," Doji Shinichi bows, introducing each of the Crane as they bow in turn, "I am Doji Shinichi, son of Doji Namura and and Doji Meiko, student of the Mirumoto Bushi School, under the tutelage of Mirumoto Echizen.

"This is Kakita Ginta, son of Kakita Suou and Kakita Arimi, student of the Kakita Bushi School, under the tutelage of Doji Namura.

"This is Daidoji Yukito, son of Daidoji Kuromori and Daidoji Shihomori, student of the Daidoji Bushi School, under the tutelage of Daidoji Keiko.

"The three of us currently train under Kakita Tsutomu, once a student of the road, while we are away from our sensei."


So saying, Doji Shinichi turns to the other members of the group.

"This is Moshi Reiko," he begins, starting with the Mantis shugenja, "honored shugenja of the Mantis.

"This is Idun,"
he continues, indicating the Ronin with one blade and the tessen, "a student of the road and yojimbo to Moshi Reiko."

"This is Hida Zenko,"
he says, indicating the Crab, "son of Hida Yuri and Hida Shogo, guest of the Crane, student of the Daidoji Yojimbo School, and yojimbo to Kedo.

"This is Kedo,"
he concludes, indicating the Ronin with two blades, "a student of the Mi...road.  He came to Toshi Ranbo as the Yojimbo to the shugenja Daidoji Sakura, but has since found that his path diverges from hers.  You may remember his name as the bushi who was primarily responsible for driving off the assassins from the bath house now known as 'the Ronin's Rescue', he is also the same Kedo whom you may have heard is the author of our current defensive plan for Toshi Ranbo."
Doji Toyozo
 player, 5 posts
Fri 8 Oct 2010
at 21:40
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Toyozo regards his clans men with a nod and bows to Moshi Reiko, Idun, Hida Zenko. he paused a moment before bowing to Kedo as well this bow a bit deeper after hearing of his accomplishments.

"Thank you for over seeing the defense of our city, Kedo-san. Indeed, Kuwanan's unorthodox tactics have always allowed him to stay a step ahead of the Lion. I do not doubt this tactic will pay off as well."

He turns to regard the Crane before him, "A Mirumoto trained Doji & a Kakita in a room together. I believe this has the makings of quite an interesting play." He smiles.

"If it is not outside my duty, may I inquire as to your plans, Kedo-san."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:40, Tue 12 Oct 2010.

Kedo
 player, 361 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 12 Oct 2010
at 11:59
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel

 The Miromoto are amongst the most traditional Bushi of any amongst the great clans, perhaps to offset the strangeness of their mountain-dwelling kin. On the other hand for those who live in the gentle lands of the south and east they still have a tendency to appear strange as a result of their isolation, a state that hasn't brought them into contact with the ebb and flow of changing fashions in civilisation as a whole.

 So Kedo, whom in common with many of those who come down from the mountains, can best be described as 'a bit odd' hears the fashion in which he's introduced his expression becomes just a little pained, plainly uncomfortable to hear the deeds of the past few days recounted all in one go and silently sending up the prayer that none of the Bushi present have heard about what transpired in the forge of Kakita Maru, though since the place was full of apprentices, all of whom were absent when he came out of his trance, and who (being apprentices) will have found time to gossip, it's a thin hope and a slender prayer at best.

 The expression of slight strain passes after a moment though, and Toyozo's bow is returned to the greater depth of one who walks the roads to one who has a Great Clan at his back and indicates Doji Shinichi and his companions with one hand, "Not realising that my part in the plans for this city was only to remind the Daidoji of their strength, Doji Shinichi has offered that Idun-San and myself might stand with them come the days of decision... Needless to say, the honour is ours and we leapt at the chance to do so."

 Curiously, he doesn't seem to go into whatever he knows of the plans for the defence of the city against the besieging Lion forces... But there's probably a good reason for that.
Idun
 player, 14 posts
Tue 12 Oct 2010
at 13:06
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
Bowing low at his introduction Idun carefully did not meet the higher ranked samurai's eyes, indeed shifting his weight backwards slightly. He had no desire to bring himself into the public eye in this manner, though he was clearly paying close attention to the conversation, in particular mentions of tactics intended.

Rather than intrude on the matter he continued to listen, mind drifting as he did to potential tactics that might be used by defenders and attackers alike.
Doji Toyozo
 player, 6 posts
Mon 18 Oct 2010
at 15:29
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel
How delightfully uninformative of two ronin... Toyozo grumbled to himself.

Determined to find more from these strangers he pressed on.  "Well, the Crane are honored at your selfless behaviour. May honour and glory guide you in the coming battle, Kedo-san, Idun-san.  The Lion clan is always a tenacious foe, many would pale at the thought of facing them on the battelfield." Toyozo says.

"Such bravery is to be commended. For even though driving off assassins is a brave and glorious feat, it is an action done in the heat of the moment, where reflex & instinct are masters. Well honed reflex & instinct obviously. BUT to know an impressive & deadly foe is coming and yet maintain your demeanor is truly a tribute to your character and the training you have had on your travels. You as well, Idun.  Tell me, if it is not too personal, what events have transpired in both your lives to have such a steel resolve.  I ask only because it would be good to impart these lessons upon my clan."  a brief smile graces Toyzo's face.
Kedo
 player, 362 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 19 Oct 2010
at 14:45
Re: Chapter 7 - Something About Steel

 If Kedo were an ordinary ronin, it would be an act tantamount to suicide to speak of the defensive plans of the city in which he is employed to someone he does not know, whatever their mon... As the rather... singular individual he has proven to be thus far however, it would merely be one of foolishness, a vice he tries his best to avoid indulging in more than the strictly necessary human amount (because a little foolishness from time to time is a much underated preventative).

 This decision is only underlined by the unexpected compliments being offered by Doji Toyozo, and after a moments uncertainty, Kedo offers another smooth bow and answers as best he is able, "I was raised in the mountains, and it is often difficult to speak of them to those who were not... The Road is not what it is in the lowlands, and The Way often winding. In time I left, and came in search of something that I could not find amongst the peaks." he explains, a touch of uncertainty in his voice as he tries to put into words what until now he could only understand, though as he moves out of the mysticism of his native clan and into more recent events that uncertainty passes into the hard fact of history "And in the course of my wandering was recommended to Daidoji Sakura-sama as a potential Yojimbo when no suitable Bushi of her own house was available at short notice."

 "As for the Lion? - They are skilled and courageous, but they are mortal men and women as are we. That is their strength. I expect to learn much from them, and if it is the last lesson I am given to learn in this life then so be it, but I shall endeavour to make it a lengthy one." he adds at the last, a faint smile playing about his lips, almost wistful rather than cocksure or overconfident.