Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible.   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: archive 0
Miya Momoko
 player, 68 posts
 Crane Hostage
 Kakita Trained...
Mon 29 Mar 2010
at 07:12
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
Miya raised an eyebrow. "I would most humbly disagree with that last statement, Genkosama. The concern of the Emperor desends from the most luminary member of the imperial court to the lowest of the eta in the land.  Each is a part in a vast structure that holds order in place, and therefore the loss or damage to any one part is like damage to a suit of finly wrought armour - it looks good until it is time to fail you."

"However, I understand you - you don't think the grain is an issue.  If that was true then, why did the Phoenix attack it?"

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 123 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Tue 30 Mar 2010
at 16:49
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
Sometimes Bayushi Kenshin hated being Scorpion, but right now was not that time.

"My Lord's court training is showing" Kenshin replied with a subtle smile, "for me to say that my presence here had nothing to do with our plans would be an obvious lie. After all, the fact that you suspect something is something, ne?"

"But, to answer the intended question, if I may quote a monk of Shinsei that I met once 'Sometimes a tree is just a tree'."

"I have no knowledge of the tactical plans of my cousins -- if I did they would not have sent me -- and what happened with Governor*-Sama was a matter of Duty. If he were to die, our mission would have ended in failure."

"And we could not allow that to happen."

Sometimes Kenshin loved being a Scorpion. Now was one of those times.

[Sorry, I can't remember the Japanese/Rokugani title. But it is a proper/formal way of address.]
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 718 posts
Tue 30 Mar 2010
at 22:39
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"Don't you know that you can't teach your grandmother how to suck eggs, Miya-san," the Ikoma commander admonishes, "of all of Rokugan's Emperors, none were so well informed regarding the needs of the Lion as Toturi-sama.  When word reaches the Jade Throne of the loss of the granaries he will know what that entails for the entire Clan."

"As for why the Phoenix chose to attack?"
he shrugs, "my guess would be that they pursued the old adage that an army moves on its stomach."

His gaze then returns to Bayushi Kenshin.

"A answer full of Scorpion double talk if I ever heard one," he laughs, "but I think that I will let others ponder the enigma that you represent.  There is enough to deal with in the now, that I do not wish to borrow trouble from the future."

"Now, Ikoma Gendo says that you have a proposal for the Lion to postpone our siege against the Crane,"
he says, now all business, "I say there are armies in position to attack now.  The benefit to the Crane is obvious.  The benefit to the Scorpion less so.  However, what benefit will there be for the Lion in your proposal?"
Miya Momoko
 player, 69 posts
 Crane Hostage
 Kakita Trained...
Fri 2 Apr 2010
at 14:18
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
Momoko raised an eyebrow and stifled a laugh when the lion described himself as a grandmother.  She remained quiet as he talked with the other duelist.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 124 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Fri 2 Apr 2010
at 15:13
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
Kenshin waited until it was evident that he was the one expected to answer. He smiled, indicating that he had just entered Courtier mode.

"The only reason that the Lion will do so is because the Emperor wishes it, but what fringe benefits will there be?"

A not-so-subtle reframe.

"The courts will be much more friendly, as the rumors will have been disproven by action. By next year, Toshi Ranbo will be much easier for the Lion to hold and maintain."

"And by next year, many of the clans currently supporting the Crane in Toshi Ranbo will have lost interest."
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 721 posts
Tue 6 Apr 2010
at 03:40
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"First of all, Bayushi-san," the Ikoma replies, "the Lion have never been motivated by rumor, if the other Clans cannot see the rightness of our actions then that is their concern.  Much like the Scorpion, the Lion's honor is our own.

"Secondly, if we hold off our attack, can the Scorpion guarantee that they will be...uninterested in the defense of Toshi Ranbo,"
he says, raising a significant eyebrow at Kenshin, "and do the same with the Mantis?"

"Finally, what makes you so certain that the Son of Heaven does not wish this war?"

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 125 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Thu 8 Apr 2010
at 16:01
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
Kenshin's composure shifted once again, this time becoming a seemingly impenenetrable mask. It was his dueling attitude, though only one other in the room would have seen it.

"Are the Lion questioning the place of the Imperial Families in the Celestial Order, or just our testimony?"

Focus ...
Miya Momoko
 player, 70 posts
 Crane Hostage
 Kakita Trained...
Thu 8 Apr 2010
at 16:12
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
Momoko senses the chill eminating from Kenshin and she closed her eyes momentarilly. If she didn't do anything, there was every chance that the honerable Scorpion would kill the man in front of her, and then he would be submitted to duel upon duel until he was dead.  That would not help the course of the war.

"What we mean, -sama, is that you seem so certain on your course of action, or the action of your clan, I should say. When you bring the Son of Heaven into a discussion, sometimes the discussion can get heated. How can anyone know the mind of the Emperor? Is he not neigh on a kami himself? His mind is unknowable. To say that you know the mind of the Glorious Son of Heaven is to say you know the unknowable."  She sighed dramatically.

"I feel I am teaching my grandmother how to suck eggs again, am I not."  She laughed, a genuine sound that conveyed only mirth. "You should be aware, due to implications of history and artiface upon neither of us have been able to act, my yojimbo is as much a scorpion in his heart as I am, or you are, -sama. To infer that he was speaking with, er, double-talk?... well, that is a little unfair. Really, such a think would not be possible if words did not have two meanings, and then, if one thinks about it, it is down to the person who hears the words and misunderstands them who is at fault."
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 126 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Sun 11 Apr 2010
at 17:01
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
[Bloodshed wasn't where he was going, though I can see how one could interpret my words that way. He was actually going for a ... well, "Courtier's Duel" if you will (a duel of words).]

Three years ago

"Master?"

The aged Crane looked at the youngster.

"What is it, Kenshin-Kun?"

"You said a duel of words is the same as a duel with blades" the young Hostage replied, "but how can that be?"

The old Crane chuckled before he replied.

"There are differences, of course. But in the end, the common elements overwhelm the different ones. There are times for waiting, ways to prepare ones spirit ... but most of all, the only time to move -- whether to Say or to Do -- is the correct time, and with the correct timing."

"Do you understand, Kenshin-Kun?"

"No master, but I'm sure that I will."

The Present

Kenshin moved ever so slightly behind and to the left of his charge. The message would be clear -- 'I am but a Yojimbo'. Should the Lion General be interested in further engaging him in this duel of words, the General's timing and context would be off. In an odd sort of way, Kenshin could not lose this duel. Kenshin was beginning to understand how his training could mesh with the traditions of his Clan.

'There is no failure, only success or death'

It would be some time before he could master even the most basic concept, but now he had an idea of how to pursue. His master had tried to introduce him to Doji Houtori's philosophies, only now was he understanding why.

Focus ...
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 726 posts
Tue 13 Apr 2010
at 04:27
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"You are the ones who brought the Emperor's will in to this situation, Miya-san," Ikoma Gendo replies, raising an eyebrow, "first, by coming here under the banner of the Imperial Families.  Second, by bringing His name into play.  Third, it is your yojimbo who reintroduced the Emperor's name into our discussion.  Do you now say that you do not speak the will of the Son of Heaven?"

"Semantics aside,"
the unnamed Ikoma says, speaking directly to Bayushi Kenshin, "I question neither the Imperial Families nor your testimony, merely the source of your information.  If you claim to have spoken with the Son of Heaven or ones who carry his direct word, then I will accept that, Bayushi-san.  You are as much a student of Bushido as I, and would not stoop to lie."
Miya Momoko
 player, 71 posts
 Crane Hostage
 Kakita Trained...
Tue 13 Apr 2010
at 08:10
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
Momoko smiled. He called kenshin as tricky as a bag of snakes, but he is trikier. He coils like a serpent. I need to find a way to pin his tail down.

"I am Miya Momoko. Where I go, go the eyes and ears and mercy of the Son of Heaven. My mere presence however, does NOT indicate that the Son of Heaven himself is present, as you well know. Saying that I brought up the subject with my mere presence is flattering, but really, I look nothing like the Emperor."

"And, as I recall, my yojimbo was bayushi. He is not the emperor either. Really, if I did not know better I'd say you were delaying our return..."

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 127 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Wed 14 Apr 2010
at 16:11
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
To say that Kenshin was in a sticky situation was an understatement. It was his duty to protect the honor of his charge as well as his mission, but how would he do so?

With skill.

"It is quite true that the Mind of the Son of Heaven is unknowable" Kenshin began carefully, "yet we also know that the Imperial families speak the Will of the Emperor. This mission was comissioned not by the Miya, but by the Imperial Families. This I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. Thus, while it is not an Imperial Command, it nonetheless represents the will of Son of Heaven."

"Such is the celestial order."

Focus ...
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 728 posts
Fri 16 Apr 2010
at 04:38
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"You've been here for scant hours, Miya-san," Ikoma Gendo replies, raising an eyebrow, "even counting the...incident with the granaries.  If we intended to delay you to our advantage, we would be showing you the full hospitality of the Lion.  Instead, we are acting with unseemly haste in arranging this meeting.  Really, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were rushing off to make a report of our strength to the Crane..."

"Now that is an interesting piece of intelligence,"
the unnamed, but obviously highly ranked, Ikoma replies with a frown, "as I have a similar piece, perhaps we ought to compare notes.  Tamanari-san please bring me my correspondence chest."
Miya Momoko
 player, 73 posts
 Crane Hostage
 Kakita Trained...
Fri 16 Apr 2010
at 13:09
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
Miya smiled at the raised eyebrow, ignoring the Lion's loss of face. Instead, she took a deep breath. "It is reasuring then, that we both know better. One could get quite insulted if they misunderstood the words being said here. Let me make this plain. I am here to ensure, or to try to ensure, that there is no bloodshed at a time when the empire needs its finest warriors ready to face threats from without. There is the ever-present danger of foes from without the empire, such a great threat infact, that figting and interneicne warfare seem mere frivolities compared to it."

"Some might say that the few men you loose in taking the city would be negligable. However, I say... count the thunders. How many men or women went with Shinsei to the tomb of evil? Can we aford to lose even one of those thunders before their time? What would become of the empire if such a time should arise again?"

"Remember why samurai were gifted swords - not to fight for land against thier brothers, but to defend the land against the foes of the empire. Some might think that duy forgotten in this day and age."

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 128 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Sun 18 Apr 2010
at 16:45
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
There were times in the Court that one was expected to come up with the perfect words, to know exactly what to say; there were also times that the best thing one could do was to remain silent.

This was one of the latter.

Kenshin said nothing. Rather he simply nodded and waited for the appropriate letter or letters to arrive.

Focus ...
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 730 posts
Sun 25 Apr 2010
at 00:22
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"I do remember the Thunders, Miya-san," Ikoma Gendo replies, "I remember that they defeated Fu Leng, not twelve months past.  With the Shadowlands in full retreat, no gaijin at our shores, and little more than yobanjin bandits to the north, to what enemies do you refer?"

Silently, the Lion passes two letters to Kenshin.

To Ikoma Mitsumoto:

I believe this shows the passes are clear of obstruction for those with the courage to enter.  If you agree I will expect you at Ninkatoshi before the winter snows.

Matsu Akutori


To Matsu Ketsui:

The Son of Heaven acknowledges the debt that he owes the Lion, how could he not acknowledge the Clan that birthed him.  So too do I acknowledge the debt that I owe the Crane, having been a scion of Doji before my acceptance into the Otomo.  But the courts are no friendlier to a new Emperor than they were to the old one, with the reemergence of the Scorpion, the rising prominence of the Mantis, and the insistence of the Crane for their old place at the head of the courts.  The Lion, however, might provide a distraction for the Crane in their old disagreement over Toshi Ranbo.  The Son of Heaven cannot, of course, encourage you without calling into question his impartiality, but equally he cannot show favoritism for the Crane should you show your military superiority.

Otomo Hatsumoro


"So I ask again, Bayushi-san," Ikoma Mitsumoto says, once you have finished reading his correspondence, "can you guarantee the...disinterest of the Scorpion and the Mantis in the following year?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:50, Tue 27 Apr 2010.

Miya Momoko
 player, 74 posts
 Crane Hostage
 Kakita Trained...
Tue 27 Apr 2010
at 06:03
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"I am well aware of the problems facing the thunders, thank you. However, it seems that the lessons that were taught by thier example have been forgotten. Where they cooperated, people fight. Where they listened to one another to bring the downfall of fu-leng, others bicker and argue.  Twelve months is a lifetime and a half, I fear, for thier message."

"And as to the question of 'what enemies', well, I would have thought it your duty to know your enemies from your cousins..."

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 129 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Tue 27 Apr 2010
at 17:18
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"My privledge" Kenshin replied carefully, "Is but to protect the Imperial Emissary; Our Lady does not permit me to speak for her."

"Nonetheless" Kenshin continued, handing the scrolls to Momoko, "There are some things I can say. I noticed, for instance, that these are both quite old -- many things have changed in the last few days, much less in the last few weeks or months."

"I have no love for the Crane, but the Fortunes have seen it fit to grant me some small piece of their eqanimity. With the murders and banditry that has taken place on the streets of Toshi Ranbo recently, there is no way for the Lion to take the city and keep Face."

"The Crane will accuse the Lion if the Lion win; should they loose it would be even worse ..."

"The only 'guarantee' I can make is that you will loose ten times more than you stand to gain."

"The Choice, of course, is yours."

Kenshin shot a look to Momoko that said it was time to go.

Focus.

[Not a typo, Strike comes as were leaving.]
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 735 posts
Wed 12 May 2010
at 03:35
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"And yet it is among family that conflicts are the fiercest," Ikoma Gendo shrugs, "you speak in generalities Miya-san, but are short on specifics.  Your message has been delivered, your honor satisfied.  The Lion will do as their honor compels them."

"If you are unwilling to speak for the Mistress of Secrets, Bayushi-san,"
Ikoma Mitsumoto replies, "I do not suffer under the same restrictions with regards to my own forces.  No Lion samurai, ashigaru, or eta will leave Ninkatoshi for Toshi Ranbo with hostile intent for a year and a day if you will give your personal word of honor that the Mistress of Secrets or her representative will but hear a proposal from the Lion Clan."
Miya Momoko
 player, 77 posts
 Crane Hostage
 Kakita Trained...
Wed 12 May 2010
at 03:54
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"Ikoma-san, you speak of a lack of details yet give none yourself. You claim that conflict is greatest in families, yet here you are engaging an external foe. Ikoma-san, you are a man of contridictions and great skill in oratory and talking that goes beyond my own."

"And yet, you have failed to address the key points I have laid before you... That the attack is unwarranted from an objective view of the empire; that all men are needed now, more than ever, and not to be wasted on a fruitless war; and of the fact that, when asked, you cannot say who your enemies are."

"The first two are mearly faults of perspective - you are lookinng from the point of view of your daimyo, I from the Emerald Throne itself. The later is concerning, as you otherwise seem an intelligent and verbose man with all his congnitive skills in place."

"Let me, once more, reiterate what I propose. Since you seem dead set on competing for the city, simply duel for it. If the reputation of the Kakita academy is what is preventing you from doing so, organise a different sort of competition through me, your most humble servant.  Additionally, examine the evidence around you - are not the Phoenix attacking in support of the Crane? Does that not suggest that they have support at court? If that is the case, and the oracles are on the side of the Doji, then doesn't that give the Lion cause for alarm? Does your clan wish to plunge the empire into another civil war?"

"Wasn't losing the Akodo all those years ago enough?"


Sorry Kenshin-sama, but the Clan Coup is still fresh in thier minds, and they do seek to plunge the world into war to satisfy thier material desires.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 130 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Wed 12 May 2010
at 13:29
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
In reply to Kaze no Kage (msg #81):

"That much I can guarantee, -dono. Our Lady will hear all, though what she chooses to do I cannot say."

Kenshin was quite satisfied with this turn of events. The mission would be successful, partly at least.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 740 posts
Sun 16 May 2010
at 05:32
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
"War, in case you've forgotten, Miya-san," Ikoma Gendo replies to Miya Momoko, "is a yearly occurrence.  The Clan War was terrible, yes, and no war since Akodo himself faced Fu Leng on the field of battle has been as terrible.  But war is the lifeblood of the Lion.  The lifeblood of Rokugan.  Centuries of warfare prepared us for the worst that Fu Leng could conjure, but it seems unlikely that an indifferent student of history would realize that."

"As for your request to have the fate of Toshi Ranbo decided by a duel, Miya-san,"
he says icily, "I have already given my oath to bring your proposal to those who may rightly make that decision.  If that is unacceptable to you, feel free to travel to Shiro Akodo to make your arguments directly to the Lion Clan Champion."

"Of course, Bayushi-san,"
Ikoma Mitsumoto bows, "I would expect nothing less of the Clan of Secrets."

OOC:  okay, you've accomplished a couple of things:
1)  the Lion forces here won't attack Toshi Ranbo, and so won't be involved in the battle should it occur--that's about half of the Lion army you just removed from the equation ^_^
2)  you've learned that the Lion believe that they have Imperial dispensation to try to take Toshi Ranbo (from the letters that Ikoma Mitsumoto showed you)

Kaze no Kage
 GM, 756 posts
Wed 23 Jun 2010
at 19:52
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
OOC:  on the assumption that you two are going to head back to Toshi Ranbo, if you'd rather do something different, let me know

The Lion watch you leave warily, but they do not attempt to stop you.  As you leave, you can see a number of the troops beginning to build fortifications and others gathering up their equipment to depart.

As you approach Toshi Ranbo, you see an irregular column of troops approaching the City.  They wear the black and red along with an open display of Scorpion standards.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 134 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Thu 24 Jun 2010
at 14:34
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
Kenshin was glad to see Toshi Ranbo. What could have been an unmitigated disaster was instead very successful, and Kenshin had a message to deliver.

"It seems my kin have arrived ..." Kenshin said idly.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 759 posts
Tue 20 Jul 2010
at 05:52
Re: Chapter 7 - Mission Impossible
The Scorpion chatter can be heard, though not understood, a fair distance from their encampment outside the city walls.  This kaisha from the Clan of Secrets looks more like a masquerade ball than a military presence.

As you approach, the Scorpion part to either side of you, silence spreading like a wave.  The path that opens for you leads towards the gates of the city, under an open pavilion drinking tea, sit the governor, the Daidoji commander, and a Scorpion dressed in great armor with a steel mempo depicted a horse-faced demon of some variety--presumably this is the commander of the Scorpion forces currently present.  Standing, watching everyone and everything warily are the various assorted yojimbo.

OOC:  move to Chapter 8 - Helping Hands