Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions.   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: 0
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1309 posts
Tue 10 Mar 2015
at 05:29
Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
The Tournament of the Emperor's Favored.  It was, perhaps, the most diverse tournament in the Empire. Not as narrowly focused on specific skills, as the Emerald or Jade Championships, but not filled with talented amateurs, as the Topaz Championship, the Tournament of the Emperor's Favored was a showcase of diversity and talent.

This year it was being held on the Golden Sun Plain--a special dispensation having been offered by Toturi himself.  Overlooked by the harsh lands of the Sparrow, it was a scenic venue for the arriving contestants.

OOC: make an awareness/courtier roll, the gossip emphasis applies
Asahina Byako
 player, 48 posts
 Crane diplomat
Tue 10 Mar 2015
at 17:13
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
The sheer variety of talents on display was quite intriguing to Byako. She knew that she was probably eclipsed in all respects for any skills the various contests would test, but that did not stop her from wanting to try her hand at some; if she could make an honorable showing, then she would probably be invited to the parties anyway, even if she did lose.

Besides, what better way to witness the thrill of victory and agony of defeat than to be right there amongst the contestants! Perhaps she could even learn a thing or two as well.
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 3 posts
Wed 11 Mar 2015
at 05:00
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Awareness/Courtier: 27
OOC: I'll get my intro put together tomorrow night.

Kitsune Daichi
 player, 1 post
Wed 11 Mar 2015
at 05:01
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Awareness/Courtier: 15
OOC: Ditto!

Otomo Hajime
 player, 103 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Sat 14 Mar 2015
at 10:05
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Otomo Hajime made a special effort to arrive extra early so as to be on hand for the setup of the Tournament grounds as well as having an opportunity to observe the various contestants and spectators arriving from across the Empire.  Hajime felt the weight of his responsibility as he had been honored with the duty to represent the Imperial Interest at The Tournament of the Emperor's Favored.  It was believed that the Son of Heaven himself had taken a personal interest in seeing that the Tournament went smoothly and it was no secret that the Imperial Coffers were supplying a substantial amount of the needed funding to make the Tournament a reality.  So there were plenty of reasons for Hajime to be observant and active involved in the various aspects of the Tournament (though he was mindful of the fact that the Tournament was an affair of the Minor Clans, so while he represented the Imperial Interest in the Tournament, Hajime was careful not to appear to "take charge" but instead to stand back and allow the Minor Clans to run the Tournament as they saw best).
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 4 posts
Mon 16 Mar 2015
at 23:05
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
On his own, Kitsune Shoji wouldn't warrant a second glance.  Physically, the man was unexceptional - average build and height, with dark hair and eyes.  Up close, one might notice a myriad of small scars about his hands, the marks of his trade.  Rather, what drew attention to Shoji was the company he kept.

Almost inseparable, Shoji's constant companion could sometimes be overlooked as the small fox blended almost perfectly with the redish brown of the Kitsune's kimono.  Beyond being a simple pet, the fox was a clear symbol of Shoji's talents.  There were many in the empire skilled enough to train dogs or horses, but fewer capable of capturing the attention and loyalty of the empire's more independent creatures.

Considerably more visible than Shoji or his fox was the other creature that escorted Shoji everywhere: Kitsune Daichi.  Quite the opposite of Shoji, it was impossible to miss Daichi.  A massive, chiseled form of muscle and sinew, Daichi stood out in any crowd.  The foursome was completed by Daichi's own pet dog; a gift from Shoji.

Normally as a minor clan, the Fox relied on being quiet and unnoticed in the courts.  The Tournament of the Emporer's Favored, however, was a display of diversity and talent.  Shoji's talent wasn't one that could be accomplished quickly, so for the tournament he brought along one of his works.  Lumbering behind the Kitsune and their companions was a five hundred pound example of Shoji's talents: a brown bear.
Daidoji Sakura
 player, 680 posts
 Crane Clan Shugenja
 Beautiful and Seductive
Tue 17 Mar 2015
at 01:57
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
The Twins walked in together. They were dressed in fine kimonos with fans tucked in their belt, identical smiles on their lips. They looked exactly alike.

And it was on purpose.

[OOC: Apparently Kasumi is quite the gossip today: 35. Sakura "only" had a 28. Which is quite good, actually, considering their low skill levels ...

Just in case any advantages apply, I didn't include any of them.

21:53, Today: Daidoji Kasumi rolled 35 using 6d10, dropping the 2 lowest rolls, rerolling max with rolls of 3,6,1,6,(10+5)15,8.
21:52, Today: Daidoji Sakura rolled 28 using 6d10, dropping the 2 lowest rolls, rerolling max with rolls of 3,6,8,8,6,1. Awareness/Courtier (Gossip).]

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 314 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Tue 17 Mar 2015
at 02:07
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Bayushi Kenshin entered, his wife on his arm. Kenshin was generally a little more "hooked in" to the courts, and most assumed that this was his wife's doing; as a former Seppun, she did have more contacts than most. In fact, it was nothing more than part of his training - Hotori's way. The pair had court fans tucked in their belt (though one could never tell if these beauties were steel lined) and smiled as they walked and talked.

[OOC: Awareness/Courtier 32. Thought about using Hotori's Blade, but I'll save that for a more important roll.]
Isawa Shema
 player, 4 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Thu 19 Mar 2015
at 18:51
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Unlike many of the others who had arrived in pairs with clansmen or relatives, Shema arrived alone.  His pace appeared unhurried, his clothes were in fine order, despite the great distance from the Phoenix lands.  The large pack on his back and the scroll case and wakizashi at his waist all bumped gently as he walked, yet he covered the ground with astounding alacrity.  As he neared the area, he paused for a moment, then continued at a more mundane pace.

He looked about at all the other competitors and visitors, as well as the hosts.  It was truly beautiful to see such varied representation from all across the empire come together to compete and celebrate diversity.


14:30, Today: Isawa Shema rolled 9 using 3d10, rerolling max with rolls of 1,3,5. Awareness.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1322 posts
Sat 21 Mar 2015
at 06:19
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions


The Golden Sun Plains were busy in the extreme.  While one hesitated to call the Tournament a last minute endeavor, it seemed clear that chaos was the order of the day.  There was a small cluster of tents for the Tournament officials and several tent camps, one for each of the Minor Clans.  Fortunately, the Crane holding of Mura Sabishii Toshi was nearby, and they were able to house most of the Great Clan participants.

There are four primary locations:

The Judging Tents - this is where the Tournament Officials gather for meeting and to debate disputes.  If you intend to serve in an official capacity in the Tournament, you should go here.  You may participate in any event in which you are not officially involved.

The Tournament Stage - a misnomer, since it's really just a big open field.  This is where participants compete in competitions such as the Sumai or Kenjutsu event, and get instructions for wider ranging events, like hunting.

The Minor Clan Camps - actually lots of different places, clustered in the same general area.  The Mantis, Wasp, and Centipede each have their own tent cluster, even though they technically all belong to the same Clan now.

Mura Sabishii Toshi- a moderately sized port trade city.  Most of the Great Clan participants are staying here, though you may choose to stay anywhere you like.  The Tortoise maintain offices in this city.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:21, Sun 22 Mar 2015.

Otomo Hajime
 player, 105 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Sun 22 Mar 2015
at 04:18
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
While Otomo Hajime had made arrangements to stay among the Great Clans in Mura Sabishii Toshi prior to the start of the Tournament, Hajime was considering possibly shifting his "residence" throughout the Tournament so that he slept at a new location each night.  In particular, he was thinking of moving among the various Camps of the Minor Clans so that he would have a chance to reside with and enjoy the hospitality of the various Minor Clans (and thus show Imperial interest in the Minor Clans without showing particular favoritism to any one Clan as he moved somewhere new each night).

Being the Imperial Representative for the Tournament, it was only natural for Otomo Hajime to be readily found among The Judging Tents where the Tournament Officials were gathered.  Hajime intended to volunteer to serve as in an official capacity as a Tournament Official for various events that he would not be participating in (though Hajime did intend to participate in at least a select few of the Tournament events).
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 5 posts
Mon 23 Mar 2015
at 05:15
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Onnisan, what do you see?" Shoji asked as they descended the path toward the camp.  People - mostly samurai Shoji figured - were milling about below.

Daichi glanced at Shoji and shrugged.

"It can't be too bad, can it?" he sniffed, not to try to catch a scent, but because he could feel a cold coming on.  That was the worst thing about coming to places like this: getting sick.  In time spent alone in Kitsune Mori one rarely ran into people and sickness failed to spread.  "At least it should be clean.  Not as fetid as Toshi Ranbo."

The menagerie worked their way onward, looking for the Fox encampment.  Shoji quietly hoped that it was on the outside, a distance from the main paths through the camp.  He wasn't concerned about his own animals - they were well conditioned - but he wanted to get off the road.  Rokugani ponies tended to get skittish around bears, which made their travel slow.  They ended up spending most of their time traveling a distance from the road in parallel to the rest of the traffic.

The tournament grounds were a little larger than he expected.  It gave him some pause. Shoji had at least he or his brother to be able to compete in each of the events.  Now he wondered if it was a great idea.  There were a few of the competitions he thought they could do very well in, but some others that they only had rudimentary training.

"Let's settle in, and then head to the judging tent.  At least we can find out the order of things."  There was at least one event that Shoji and Daichi had responsibility to help with.
Asahina Byako
 player, 50 posts
 Crane diplomat
Mon 23 Mar 2015
at 16:36
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
All these people, surely someone was squabbling.

Byako tried to get to a vantage point where she could see the majority of the people and what they were engaged in at the moment. She looked for a husband being berated for spending too much this month or sparring partners having a dispute about technique or even a child being scolded by a child. Rarer, but even more exciting would be to spot a young couple courting or an artist passionately creating. Soon enough she spotted something and headed that way with due haste. On her way there she considered how best to unobtrusively observe her entertainment.

After a few hours of entertaining herself thus, she considered that it may be wise to determine what each of the events were, and which she would be best suited to enter. Perhaps the judging tents would be the best place for this. Someone there would know, and probably they could be persuaded to tell her.
Isawa Shema
 player, 5 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Mon 23 Mar 2015
at 18:38
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shema got his bearings and headed for the judge's tent at a brisk, but unhurried pace.  He had several things to get sorted out and believed that the best place to do so would be there.  When he got there, he sought out a non-Moshi official to speak with.  Not that all Moshi were bad, in fact the majority of them were honorable persons who stood head and shoulders above even many Great Clan samurai when it came to piety.  Unfortunately, there was a branch of the family that were not the shining beacons they ought to be.

When he catches one, he bows a hair deeper than would normally be required, in recognition of the man's position here at the competition.  "Ah, Sparrow-sama.  Thank you, on behalf of the Phoenix, for the tournament you have prepared.  I know you already have plenty of herbalists and healers available to you, but I wanted to offer my services as well, should you find them convenient.  I myself am no great healer, but when offered soon enough, the kami have been known to answer my prayers to heal many things."

He gives the official time to answer, then asks, "Also, aside from Iaijutsu duels, in which even a shugenja would be considered somewhat questionable for using the aid of the Kami, what is the extent to which the Kami are permitted to aid competitors in your competition."
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 319 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Mon 30 Mar 2015
at 01:15
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[OOC: My understanding is that you have to have signed up for all of the tournaments to have a chance at winning the Championship?]

Bayushi Kenshin knew that he was not suited for most of these tournaments, but still ... he had to enter them. All of them. Even the ones he wasn't suited for.

No, especially the ones he wasn't suited for.

He and his wife wandered to the various event tents, signing up for for Iaijutsu (which would come as no surprise to anyone), and then Personal Combat.  Then to ... herbalism? And then, one by one, to all of the others. Just what, someone might ask, was the Mask of Honor doing entering all of these tournaments ...?

Was it a Scorpion Plot?

Sort of.

Kenshin needed some ... "brownie points". It would help if the Minor Clans liked him ... easier to be invited to the Imperial Guard that way. And if he accidentally won?

Well, that would be good to.
Daidoji Kasumi
 player, 70 posts
 Beautiful and Deadly
 Twin of Daidoji Sakura
Mon 30 Mar 2015
at 01:19
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
As the pair wound their way through the crowds, Kasumi heard a rumor that hit her just right. Ah yes ... definitely "right".

"Oneechan ..." she said, nodding towards the minor clan tents. Sakura followed, enquiring what this was all about. Kasumi whispered the answer to her as they walked. Eventually they were in the Minor Clan encampment, and they started chatting with the Minor Clan Samurai. Eventually they made their way to the Dragonfly Clan. They approached and made very little effort at concealing their interest.

"Would your ... head Courtier be available?"
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1333 posts
Tue 31 Mar 2015
at 06:11
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Bayushi Kenshin:
[OOC: My understanding is that you have to have signed up for all of the tournaments to have a chance at winning the Championship?]


Yes, unless you are a minor clan samurai (they're prevented from entering the test for their Clan)--interestingly, this means that the Mantis can't actually win the tournament.



The Judging Tents were surrounded by a sea of samurai all trying to be heard.  Some were contestants, others were officials try to get assignments or clarifications, and a few were onlookers or those related to one group or the other.

[Judging Tents - contestants line | Otomo Hajime, Bayushi Kenshin, Kitsune Shoji, Kitsune Daichi, Asahina Byako]

There were a lot of contestants--though most were only entering one or two events.  A list of the events was posted in several places throughout the line:

Badger Clan, sumai
Centipede Clan, theology
Dragonfly Clan, divination
Falcon Clan, hunting
Fox Clan, herbalism
Hare Clan, athletics
Mantis Clan, personal combat
Monkey Clan, kenjutsu
Sparrow Clan, iaijutsu
Tortoise Clan, sadane
Wasp Clan, kyujutsu



[Judging Tents | Isawa Shema, Suzume Kirika (NPC)

The Sparrow that Isawa Shima found was a rather attractive woman, who also seemed not to be in quite a hurry.  Probably because, as her lack of katana signified, she was not a bushi, and thus neither a participant or a judge for her Clan's test.

"It is no bother, Isawa-dono," the Sparrow bowed, "I am Suzume Kirika, and I would be happy to answer your questions."

"As for the healing, it would be best to speak with the Kitsune.  They are coordinating first aid for the tournament--particularly for the martial tests."

"Regarding the blessings of the kami, I believe they are prohibited in the tests of the Badger, Monkey, and Sparrow.  Some may be permissible in the test of the Mantis.  All others allow them, as they provide no certainty of success."


[Dragonfly Camp]

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:35, Tue 31 Mar 2015.

Kitsune Shoji
 player, 6 posts
Tue 31 Mar 2015
at 16:50
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Judging Tents - contestants line | Otomo Hajime, Bayushi Kenshin, Kitsune Shoji, Kitsune Daichi, Asahina Byako]

"What do you think, brother?" Shoji asked as he looked down the list.  There were no surprises on the events, but there were still a few that Shoji and Daichi hadn't decided on, instead waiting to see the competition before settling which of them would compete.  Some were obvious - Daichi was a better fit for sumai, Shoji for sadane.  Others, like hunting and iajitsu were more complicated.  Hunting: they were both proficient.  Iajitsu: neither was.

Shoji eyed Daichi for a moment, looking for an indication.  Finding none - or at least not a preference - he stepped over toward one of the other competitors.

Anzu had accompanied him, the two were rarely separated.  The other pets had been left in camp.  As Shoji stepped in line next to the Asahina, his red fox settled in obediently at his feet.  Eyebrow arched curiously, Shoji inquired, "Asahina-san, are you planning on competing?  Or are you just observing?"
Kitsune Daichi
 player, 2 posts
Tue 31 Mar 2015
at 16:59
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Kitsune Daichi lacked the skittishness of his clan's namesake.  He watched quietly as his brother and charge stepped into lined next to the Asahina.  Rather than make a move of his own, he continued to passively observe the rest of the contestants.  It wasn't difficult, as the bushi stood a head taller than most of the rest.
Isawa Shema
 player, 6 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Tue 31 Mar 2015
at 17:40
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shema nods his understanding, and looks for a monkey shugenja to call over, and failing that requests another monkey official, and speaks quietly to the two of them.
Asahina Byako
 player, 51 posts
 Crane diplomat
Wed 1 Apr 2015
at 19:15
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Kitsune-san, it is a pleasure to meet you. I am Asahina Byako." Byako bows as if to an equal, despite their relative minor clan/major clan status. She then leans down, and, assuming the fox isn't trained to recoil from strangers, pats the fox on its head and scratches it in just the right spot behind its ear. "I was considering entering the contests of the Falcon. I do very much wish I had a greater knowledge of herbalism, so I could enter your clan's contest as well, but I'm afraid I would dishonor myself and my opponents, if I were to attempt that. At least with hunting I can make some sort of modest showing. Do you, or your honorable yojimbo, plan on entering any of the contests?"
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 7 posts
Wed 1 Apr 2015
at 22:00
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
To a casual observer, Anzu might have appeared to supplicate to the Asahina as she petted the fox, stretching her fore legs out in front in a stretch as she accepted the scratch behind the ears.

"If you're not careful, you'll spoil Anzu,"
Shoji replied, kidding the Asahina.  The name was quite literal in describing her apricot coloring.

"We'd be honored to have you compete," referring to his clan and family.  "If you change your mind and decide you want to compete in the our challenge, let me know.  I'd be happy to instruct you.  A little practice making poultices goes a long way."  He shrugged.  "If not, I understand."

Though Shoji understood her reasons, he didn't agree with them.  "Between the two of us, I think we're planning on competing in all of them.  Except our own, of course.  Some I think we could do well in," he cast a look over his shoulder at his yojimbo, who was clearly ready to go now, "and there are others... well, I think there is honor simply in competing.  I don't see any dishonor in being bested by a superior opponent."

"I'm Kitsune Shoji.  That's my brother - and yojimbo - Daichi."
Asahina Byako
 player, 52 posts
 Crane diplomat
Wed 1 Apr 2015
at 23:17
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Byako smiles at Anzu's reaction and comments quietly "You're very pretty. You must tell me sometime how you manage to keep your outer coat so shiny."

In response to the offer of instruction Byako smiles once again, and, with that smile directed directly at you, there is something eerily, animalistically, attractive about her. "Perhaps you are right, Kitsune Shoji-san. While I do not have a sibling, versed in the ways of arms, I could at least learn the most fundamental truths about the various other disciplines to at least make an honorable showing.

Do you have the time to show me the fundamentals of herbalism? I would be honored to take tutelage in the art from someone so wise in its ways."

Kitsune Shoji
 player, 8 posts
Thu 2 Apr 2015
at 23:17
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Byako's charm isn't lost on Kitsune Shoji.  Rather than focusing on her smile, though, his focus is on the almost amber hue of her eyes.

"I have time," he assured the Asahina.  "Outside of the competitions, I have no plans.  We could start this evening, if you'd like.  We could take a walk, and I could show you how identify the plants."  There were worse ways to spend ones evenings than a walk on the Golden Plain.
Asahina Byako
 player, 53 posts
 Crane diplomat
Fri 3 Apr 2015
at 15:20
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"It is settled, then; this evening. Until then I shall consider the ins and outs of the thousand fortunes and how they give signs of what is to come, as well as making wry observations. Perhaps I can even make some wry observations about what the fortunes have in store for us!" Byako covers her mouth as she giggles a bit at her joke. "I will see you this evening Kitsune Shoji-san. And, likely, you as well, faithful protector Kitsune Daichi-san." Byako bows and takes her leave, heading to the Tournament stage, where she can practice the other disciplines.
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 9 posts
Fri 3 Apr 2015
at 21:48
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Judging Tents - contestants line | Otomo Hajime, Bayushi Kenshin, Kitsune Shoji, Kitsune Daichi]

The date being scheduled, the Asahina departed to take care of business.

That didn't help Shoji and Diachi with their dilemma: Iaijutsu.  Neither was skilled, but if they wanted to compete in all the events, at least one would need to participate.  Without any training, Shoji was left simply with common knowledge about the sport.  Rumor said it favored the balanced, and though he was the most skilled with a katana, 'balanced' was a nuance that could never be ascribed to the giant.

Shoji, on the other hand, didn't carry his katana.

He had questions, and his eyes searched the room, hoping to find someone with answers.

There were others in the room, a large number of contestants.  One, however, caught Shoji's eye.  It was first drawn to the man's mask and his family mon: Bayushi.  The surprise came when his eye settled on his school mon: Kakita.  This is a man who would know.

It felt like something he should know, so Shoji was a bit hesitant to ask.  The Fox and the Scorpion had decent relations, so if he was to embarrass himself in front of anyone, it might as well be this Bayushi.

Shoji approached Bayushi Kenshin, and bowed in greeting.  "Bayushi-san, the Sparrow trial.  Iaijutsu.  Would it be looked down upon to compete with another's katana?"

OOC: If we're going to tag team events, do we need to sign up the actual participant now?  Or can Shoji just sign up for each and appoint Daichi at the time of the event?  Just trying to figure out if I need to make the call now or can wait.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 321 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Sat 4 Apr 2015
at 00:41
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
It was in a place like this that one of the secrets of the Jun Shin's mask was revealed (though, truth be told, it was a rather minor secret that most artists already knew): the mask that was sometimes subtle, and other times obvious (of not a bit obnoxious) was indeed the same mask.

The difference was shadow*.

The gold outline of character for Honor that adorned the mask took advantage of the nature of ever present shadow to make the character look almost surreal, especially in candle light, sometimes standing out as if it were a spirit of its own. Here under the tent it was not quite so intriguing, but it was nonetheless elegant.

"Ah, good day to you Kitsune-San" Kenshin replied with a small, polite bow. "That would depend on whose Katana you were competing with. A sibling's or your Lord's, for instance, would show tremendous trust and honor; but if you were to borrow, say, mine, that would have completely different ... rumors floating around."

"Do you" he continued in a low voice, so as not to embarrass the Fox, "find yourself without one? For reasons other than dishonor?"

[OOC: * I have Tanazuki's In Praise of Shadow to thank for this. ]
Daidoji Kasumi
 player, 72 posts
 Beautiful and Deadly
 Twin of Daidoji Sakura
Sat 4 Apr 2015
at 00:46
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Oh, I just need to check on the validity of a rumor" Kasumi replied nonchalantly, "that the Dragonfly are interested in a sponsor? If so, we may be able to help ..."

May, being the operative word.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1336 posts
Sat 4 Apr 2015
at 05:43
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Judging Tents | Isawa Shema, Suzume Kirika (NPC), Toku Yumimura (NPC)


[Dragonfly Camp]
Otomo Hajime
 player, 108 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Sun 5 Apr 2015
at 08:07
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Judging Tents - contestants line | Otomo Hajime, Bayushi Kenshin, Kitsune Shoji, Kitsune Daichi, Asahina Byako]

Otomo Hajime was pondering which events to enter and therefore he was a bit slow to recognize his distant cousin Bayushi Shinobu and a masked male Scorpion whom Hajime presumed was her husband.  But before he could speak to them, a pair of Kitsune approached and made an inquiry as to Iaijutsu etiquette.

Sensing that the discussion might be intended as a private one (well as "private" a conversation as one can have in the middle of a tent filled with samurai from various Clans), Hajime turned back to the sign up stations for each of the events.  Hajime decided to sign up to compete in the Badger Clan Sumai Event, the Falcon Clan Hunting Event, the Hare Clan Athletics Event, the Mantis Clan Personal Combat Event, the Monkey Clan Kenjutsu Event, the Sparrow Clan Iaijutsu Event, and the Wasp Clan Kyujutsu Event.  Aside from perhaps the Monkey's Kenjutsu and/or the Sparrow's Iaijutsu Events, Hajime readily accepted the fact that he was unlikely to be favored to win.  While Hajime was tempted to attempt to compete in all the events, he felt that he should only compete in those events for which he possessed at least some basic skill.

Besides, Hajime was not here to win (it could even be said that he was not here to "compete") but rather he was here at the Tournament to observe and insure that all went as the Emperor would wish it.

Once he was finished signing up for his events, Hajime turned back to see if the Kitsune were finished speaking with the Bayushi.
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 10 posts
Mon 6 Apr 2015
at 04:17
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Do you find yourself without one?  For reasons other than dishonor?"

"Yes.  Well, no.  Not with me, at least.  I'm fairly certain it is at home, unless someone moved it."  The Kitsune struggled with the question.  His sisters had scolded Shoji for occasionally being more forthcoming than he should be, his time spent among his animals not necessarily being great preparation for being amongst other samurai.

"It is not an uncommon thing for a shugenja not to carry his katana, correct?" Shoji asked the Bayushi.  "And if he did, it would signify that that he was able to defend himself, does it not?  Well, then there would be no need for a yojimbo."  He tossed a look over his shoulder at the hulking Kitsune standing watchfully at the back of the tent.

"My brother." Shoji would say it aloud, but the intonation was clear: he needs me as much as I need him.

His feet shifted uncomfortably.  He didn't know the Bayushi, even his name.  Neither, however, did he know anyone else at the tournament.  He seemed like as good of a person to ask as any.  "Would you be willing to teach me the basics?  Enough, at least, that I could compete?" Again unspoken: without making a fool of myself.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 322 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Wed 8 Apr 2015
at 01:39
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Kenshin smiled at Shoji. Yes, that was correct ... more or less.

"Ah, well in that case yes ... yes, it would work that way. I would be happy to teach you some Iaijutsu, but I must mention that I am planning to compete in that tournament myself. I am Bayushi Kenshin, by the way, and this is my wife Shinobu."

Kenshin waited for a moment to allow that to sink in, while his wife gave a polite bow. Anyone who knew anything about Iai would have heard Kenshin's name -- he was one of the few living Legendary Master's* of the art of Iaijutsu.

"As I said, I'd be happy to teach you -- but I would understand if you preferred a more ... neutral instructor."

[OOC: * Skill Rank 10. I'm sure that sort of skill gets mentioned here and there, but I'm not entirely sure what title they would use. The book says "Grandmaster of <skill>", but that sits wrong with me so I'll avoid it unless the GM uses it that way.]
Daidoji Kasumi
 player, 73 posts
 Beautiful and Deadly
 Twin of Daidoji Sakura
Wed 8 Apr 2015
at 01:44
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Kasumi listened carefully, trying to keep track of the implications.

"I'm sure you would have several volunteers. The Crane are always eager to help our brothers and sisters in the minor clans; the Scorpion have just returned and I'm sure would be eager to ... flex their social muscle; and I'm certain that the Mantis, as ... unorthodox as they are, would also be happy to help. I'm also willing to bet that there are Imperial courtiers wanting to ... remind the Samurai who is really in charge."

"What ... type of help would be of most interest to the Tonbo?"
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 11 posts
Wed 8 Apr 2015
at 02:33
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Anyone who knew anything about Iai would have heard Kenshin's name...

...Kitsune Shoji knew nothing about Iai.

"Bayushi Kenshin." "Shinobu."  The shugenja repeated each name as it was given, returning each with a bow.  "I am Kitsune Shoji.  That is my brother Daichi," he added, gesturing over his shoulder.

His nose twitched, sensing that he was missing something.  It probably would have made him feel wonderful if he had just realized that a grandmaster had offered to teach him, but the point was lost.  "I appreciate the offer," he began, a please smile agreeing.  "I'd love to learn.  I'm available at your discretion.  And no, I have no concerns about your sincerity Bayushi-san.  I'm pleased to learn whatever you'd be willing to teach."  Shoji had no false hope placed in winning the tournament.

After all, for the Minor Clans, the Tournament had nothing to do with winning.

"If there's any way I can return the favor, please let me know."
Isawa Shema
 player, 7 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Fri 10 Apr 2015
at 05:46
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shema bowed his thanks to the judges, then joined the throng for sign-ups.  He had behaved as the air in his journey here, rather than the water.  He should have been swift but purposeful, and instead he had acted foolishly.  He calmed himself in a moment of silent meditation.  He weighed his options; without access to the Kami, there was no way he could reasonably participate in the kenjutsu or iaijutsu duel, and he had brought neither yojimbo nor katana with him.  After a continuing debate with himself as the line advanced, he resolved himself to signing up for everything, and obtaining Shiba or Ronin yojimbo should opportunity present itself... as a gathering of possibly all the clans, it would surprise him if there were no unattached ronin about.

Instead of fretting about it, he decided to enjoy the camaraderie that could be had.  He paused for a moment, and addressed the nearby Fox.  "Kitsune-sama, I am sorry to interrupt, but I could not let pass the opportunity to thank you for sharing the fruits of your animal training ability with all of us."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:06, Sun 26 Apr 2015.

Kitsune Shoji
 player, 12 posts
Fri 10 Apr 2015
at 17:22
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
The Isawa's address startled the Kitsune.  The fact that he was recognized at all surprised him.  After a moments consideration, he understood.  Walking a bear though the camps?  Not very subtle, Shoji.

"I'd be dishonest if I said that I wasn't hopeful that one of the clans might have changed their tournament this year.  Something with a focus on the arts or craftsmanship."  He stared at the sign up lines, "True, samurai are warriors and priests, but we're also artisans, builders and engineers as well."

His gaze fixed back on the Isawa, "I apologize.  We only just meet and the first thing out of my mouth is a complaint.  I'm usually not so dour."

As if to prove it, he flashed a toothy smile while giving Isawa Shema an introductory bow.  "I'm Kitsune Shoji.  If you'd like a demonstration of my craft, I believe the Falcon's contest will offer a good venue."

Edit:
OOC: I'm making an assumption that personal combat wouldn't allow the use of animals, is that correct?

This message was last edited by the player at 17:23, Fri 10 Apr 2015.

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 324 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Sat 11 Apr 2015
at 01:05
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"This afternoon then" Kenshin replied with a bow. "I believe I see one of my cousins ..." Shinobu interjected quietly.

"If you'll excuse us ..."

Plus there was a certain Omoidasu he needed to talk to.

[OOC: They'll head to Hajime, assuming he's not busy.]
Isawa Shema
 player, 9 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Sat 11 Apr 2015
at 04:14
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shema bows in turn.  "I am Isawa Shema.  If your comment was honest and sincere, I can see no dishonor in it: encouraging each member of our caste to be all that they were meant to be is the job of each of us.  I do think each clan's choice shows expert cunning, though.  Their choices demonstrate a valued skill that each minor clan excels at, and that no Great Clan could criticize without seeming foolish, and so each competitor is reminded that there are minor clan samurai that are likely more skilled than they in at least their weak areas."  Shema paused to consider for a moment before continuing.  "The only possible exception would be the choice of Sadane.  However, to criticize sadane while having invested time to excel at it would likely seem foolish to many... and to criticize sadane without skill would just be begging for someone to teach you about it, which would likely end in the same."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:07, Sun 26 Apr 2015.

Otomo Hajime
 player, 109 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Sun 12 Apr 2015
at 07:16
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
In reply to Bayushi Kenshin (msg # 37):

Hajime had been waiting for the Bayushi to conclude the conversation with the Kitsune as he had not wanted to intrude.  Seeing his cousin and the male Bayushi, whom he assumed was her husband, approach, Hajime bowed politely to them and said in a cordial tone, "Good morning Bayushi Shinobu-san, I had not realized that you would be attending the Tournament.

I see that your union has been blessed by the Fortune Hujokuko.  I offer my congratulations and well wishes for your family's future."


Hajime glanced at the male Bayushi and said in a polite tone, "Good morning Bayushi-san, I am Otomo Hajime.

Would I be correct in assuming that you are Shinobu-san's husband?  If so, then I extend my congratulations to you as well.

Are you intending to compete in the Tournament or are you present here strictly as an observer?"

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 325 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Mon 13 Apr 2015
at 18:17
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Thank you" Shinobu said with a bow and a smile. "Yes, this is my husband, Kenshin."

"Pleased to meet you" Kenshin replied, also with a bow, "I intend to enter them all. I ... understand that the Son of Heaven has need for those such skilled, and this will be valuable experience."

His real goal was the Imperial Legions. Should he accidentally win, well ... that would be fine too.
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 14 posts
Tue 14 Apr 2015
at 19:29
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
The Kitsune pondered the Isawa's take on the tournament.  "It is a wonderful way to show what we value, is it not?  And a great way to show the diversity in the Empire."

"Are you planning on competing in our event?"  Shoji was hopeful.  All participation was welcome.  It could be difficult to find participants, and sometimes even more difficult to attract casual observers.  A bunch of samurai sitting around mashing and mixing was not the same spectacle as a duel of personal combat, or the sumai events.
Isawa Shema
 player, 10 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Wed 15 Apr 2015
at 02:49
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shema nodded.  "I would not miss any of the competitions if I could help it,"  He intimated with a glance at his hip, where no katana hung.  "Though I am in need of a yojimbo to stand for me in two of the events."  He stated his need in the present tense rather than the future as he had yet to locate his yojimbo, who was to be arriving separately.  "Speaking of which, I ought to go meet up with him, or at least see if he's arrived.  I look forward to seeing you again, Kitsune-san."  So saying he took his leave.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:07, Sun 26 Apr 2015.

Kitsune Shoji
 player, 15 posts
Wed 15 Apr 2015
at 05:03
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Do you mean a ronin?" Shoji asked, suspecting a slip of the tongue.  "Someone you could hire?  If that's what you meant, then I can keep an ear open."

Curious, Shoji continued, "I've always heard it was a lifetime thing with the Phoenix, isn't it?  Shiba and Isawa..." Shoji held up two fingers intertwined.  "I guess you could ask around in the Phoenix camp."

He thought about asking what the Isawa would be willing to pay, but that seemed crude.

"If I find someone, where should I send them?"


Edit: I think there's going to be a bit of yojimbo related retconning.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:15, Thu 16 Apr 2015.

Kitsune Shoji
 player, 16 posts
Thu 16 Apr 2015
at 22:20
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

Shema was temporarily distracted by other business, and Shoji took it as an excuse to take care of some business.  He didn't drift far - he didn't want to abandon the Isawa if he had more to discuss - so luckily his business was close.

"Kitsune Shoji," he introduced himself to the Kitsune official taking sign-ups.  "I'm here to compete, but I'd love to offer my services for our event as well.  How may I help?  I'd be happy to judge, or help collect supplies.  Whatever's needed."
Otomo Hajime
 player, 110 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Fri 17 Apr 2015
at 06:18
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
In reply to Bayushi Kenshin (msg # 40):

Unlike Kitsune Shoji, Otomo Hajime did in fact know something about Iaijutsu being one of the few Seppun Miharu to take a keen interest in dueling (many Seppun Guardsmen did not bother with the finer points of Iaijutsu beyond learning how to draw their blade swiftly in response to a sudden attack by an assassin because their Imperial duties generally did not permit the "luxury" of dueling).  Therefore Kenshin's name in conjunction with his Bayushi Family Mon and Kakita School Mon did ring a bell in Hajime's memory.

With an eyebrow raised in interest, Hajime replied, "The Empire usually benefits when its samurai strive for excellence in perfecting their abilities, especially when such excellence and perfection is pledged in direct loyal service to the Son of Heaven above and beyond any other duty.

Are you by any chance the Bayushi Kenshin, Grand Master of the Art of Iaijutsu?"


Hmm... if he is, then I suspect he will be the "one to beat" for the Sparrow Clan event.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 326 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Sat 18 Apr 2015
at 03:34
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"I am" Kenshin replied with genuine humility, "though even that is not enough to join with the Kenshinzen or the Ruby Dojo. I still have much to learn ..."

"And what of yourself? Are you here to compete?"

[OOC: I looked up both of those Advanced Schools ... Kenshin doesn't qualify. Looks like another goal is on the plate ... *lol*]
Kedo
 player, 606 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Mon 20 Apr 2015
at 04:19
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 It's been several weeks.

 It wouldn't have taken so long for a Clan samurai of course, but for a mere Ronin travelling the highways, compelled to stand aside every time a bannered and coloured column walks by, pressed to the back of every line and to the side of every crowd? Not to mention the semi-regular pauses here and there where he took a day or so at a simple peasant village or roadside garrison to speak with the smith, to express a certain humble willingness to exchange honourable labour for hospitality and, as a result to leave scattered local Ashigaru with the sort of spearheads that could punch a hole in full battle-harness with enough force behind them and rather more questions than they started with.

 In the Lion lands he had the advantage of the company of Ikoma Hitori (and, presumably her escort since it's unthinkable that she would travel with him alone) to ease his path of course, if 'ease' and 'advantage' are quite the correct terms as she is, at best a tiring sort of companion, although in many respects a fine whetstone to re-edge Dragon tolerance upon. In Crane lands she was perhaps less helpful, and it became necessary here and there to let her rest in some honourable and comfortable inn while he set about errands both dangerous and enigmatic - such as visiting a certain garden and asking after the polishing of a certain blade.

 In Scorpion lands... well, he was in Scorpion lands and the edge acquired from Ikoma Hitori  probably served him well enough even if there was an eye behind every partition wall and an ear under every floorboard (it hardly matters that most Scorpion are coming around to the idea that 'Kedo' is just an unusually fortunate and skillful Bushi, there's always the possibility that he might be something more, and no Scorpion ever lost the respect of their peers by over-estimating those who carry the Mountain with them... Not since Bayushi Kuninoko's time at any rate.

 Fortunately however, that also meant that there was 'always room at the Inn' whenever Kedo and his companions reached one, if only for the convenience of the spies and so he's able to be freshly cleaned and pressed, refreshed and, if a tad footsore nonetheless in good spirits as he approaches the outermost edge of the gathering festival to look over the riot of colours on banners and tents alike as he asks of the woman beside him, "This is, I must admit the first time I have been to the tournament Ikoma-san. Do you happen to know where one should go to begin?"
Otomo Hajime
 player, 111 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Mon 20 Apr 2015
at 18:04
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
In reply to Bayushi Kenshin (msg # 46):

Hajime smiled slightly as he replied in a polite tone, "You are still young Bayushi-san, despite having achieved the rank of Grand Master in Iaijutsu.  There is more than enough time to garner additional accomplishments worthy of admission into the ranks of the Kenshinzen or the Ruby Dojo.

But even if both goals were achieved, there would always be more to learn.  That is the nature of life, the continual pursuit of enlightenment and perfection.

And it is in that spirit, that I too intend to compete in certain Events.  Although, unlike you Bayushi-san, my intended list of events is not nearly so all-encompassing.  I need to reserve some time for observation, which can often be best done standing back and apart from ongoing activity."

Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1344 posts
Sat 25 Apr 2015
at 05:54
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Event Table | Kitsune Shoji, Kitsune Aramoro (NPC)]

"It's a little busy now, cousin," Kitsune Aramoro replied, eyeing the increasingly long line of competitors, "and I'm not sure what we'll need, but...No!  Keep an orderly line!  Damnit!"

Somewhere down the line, a Mantis and a Lion had gotten into a fistfight.

[the edge of camp | Kedo, Ikoma Hitori (NPC)]

If Ikoma Hitori was anything--besides chatty, and unreasonably optimistic--it was observant.  At least, observant enough not to overly tax her travel companion with too much chatter. She still hadn't found the ronin she was looking for--the one she hoped would allow her to write a narrative based on his adventures, but she was getting closer, she could feel it.  Perhaps he would be here, at the tournament.  And if he was not, then perhaps she would find other stories to chronicle.

"Hmmmm, over there, I should think," Hirori replied, pointing over to the judge's tents, "the flags are all yellow and brown--the colors of our hosts--while the ones over there are all different colors," she continued, pointing at the sea of tents for the Minor Clan camps.

"Oh will you look at that," she pointed at the colors flown by three clans in particular--or rather one, "the Wasp, Centepede, and Mantis are all flying their old colors--there's a story there, I'll bet.  Would you mind heading over there?  After you register, of course, I want to see how they're transitioning to their new status, but also the new challenges to their autonomy."
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 17 posts
Sun 26 Apr 2015
at 06:15
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Event Table | Kitsune Shoji, Kitsune Aramoro (NPC)]
"Maybe I can help with that," Shoji looked back toward the line.  This was one of the tricky parts about being a minor clan and running the show - managing the bad behavior of major clan samurai.

If I can handle a bear, how difficult could it be to teach a couple of samurai some etiquette?

Entirely unsure of the answer to that question, Shoji nodded across the room and gestured with his head before heading down the line toward the brawling Mantis and Lion.

"Demonstrations of ability are not required to register,"
Shoji began before even an introduction.  "I believe the Badger are leaving their test open to everyone."
Kitsune Daichi
 player, 4 posts
Sun 26 Apr 2015
at 06:20
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Line | Shoji, Daichi and two badly behaved guests ]

For his faults, Daichi was at least attentive.  He saw his charge's gesture, and was able to anticipate.  While he had little interest in stepping in between the Lion and the Mantis, he also doubted he'd have to.  People tended to find their tempers cooled underneath the shadow of the Kitsune giant.

Daichi found his place a few feet behind Shoji as the latter addressed the brawling duo.
Kedo
 player, 608 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Mon 27 Apr 2015
at 04:26
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Kaze no Kage:
[the edge of camp | Kedo, Ikoma Hitori (NPC)]

If Ikoma Hitori was anything--besides chatty, and unreasonably optimistic--it was observant.  At least, observant enough not to overly tax her travel companion with too much chatter. She still hadn't found the ronin she was looking for--the one she hoped would allow her to write a narrative based on his adventures, but she was getting closer, she could feel it.  Perhaps he would be here, at the tournament.  And if he was not, then perhaps she would find other stories to chronicle.

"Hmmmm, over there, I should think," Hirori replied, pointing over to the judge's tents, "the flags are all yellow and brown--the colors of our hosts--while the ones over there are all different colors," she continued, pointing at the sea of tents for the Minor Clan camps.

"Oh will you look at that," she pointed at the colors flown by three clans in particular--or rather one, "the Wasp, Centepede, and Mantis are all flying their old colors--there's a story there, I'll bet.  Would you mind heading over there?  After you register, of course, I want to see how they're transitioning to their new status, but also the new challenges to their autonomy."


 Chatty definitely fills a space Kedo himself does not - the sometime descendent of the mountain having a habit of going hours on end without speaking - but optimism is at least something the two share, even if they do come at it from different angles - with Kedo seemingly of the highly philosophical opinion that all events serve a purpose in their time and must merely be appreciated for the opportunities they present, even if only to learn... Unsurprising really, given how poorly sheer cliff faces respond to the importuning of mere brief mortals and therefore force patience upon those who have to deal with them daily.

 "I see no reason why we could not do so, although it seems to me that it might first be wisest to determine where a traveller might hope to stay. I expect that each of the Great Clans will have tent space for their own but as for myself..." - his lips quirk wryly and he tilts his hands, helpless before events - "No doubt the Brotherhood or perhaps the Dragonfly will have made arrangements for mere wave-men to find a scrap of canvas to shelter under."

 Either way, he smoothly begins to walk, the squeaking sandal-strap left far behind on the journey only to be replaced by its fourth-fold descendent...
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 327 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Sat 2 May 2015
at 01:57
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[OOC: Sometimes I'm just an idiot. Sorry for the delay ...]

"That is quite true, thank you" Kenshin replied. He looked as if he were about to say something else, when the fight broke out. Still, if the Fox Clan needed help there was an Emerald Magistrate here to take care of it; Kenshin would not be necessary.

Which didn't mean that he couldn't make his presence felt. He took a step or two, just enough to make sure that he was seen by the brawlers, yet close enough that he was not leaving his current conversation.

"Like their namesake, the Fox are quite crafty ... and diplomatic." Ostensibly he was speaking to Hajime, however he was intending to be overheard.
Otomo Hajime
 player, 112 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Sat 2 May 2015
at 05:28
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Hajime observed the altercation between the Mantis and the Lion with detachment.  Thus far they were keeping their "disturbance" to themselves, not involving others who wished to remain uninvolved, and no weapons had been drawn (yet).  Still a brawl while waiting on line to sign up for events seemed a bit lowbrow.  While such behavior might be excused for the Mantis, whose reputation was hardly the most illustrious, it was rather disappointing to see the Lion lower themselves to such a level of course behavior.

Hajime replied to Kenshin, "I have heard that about the Fox, it will be interesting to see if the praise for their diplomatic expertise is warranted.

I must admit that my training has not covered various methods of herbalism... but perhaps you might know more Bayushi-san.

Do you know what style of herbalism the Mantis and the Lion typically prefer to practice?  Do their herbalism techniques usually involve such... heavy handed methods?"

Shiba Sitatsu
 player, 1 post
 Phoenix Clan Bushi
 Bland
Mon 4 May 2015
at 19:07
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shiba Sitatsu kept a studiously serene look on his face as he walked about the tournament grounds with his wife.  Well, he attempted to do so, anyways: a smile occasionally slipped in when he was not being careful.  He was not in love.  He had heard the stories and seen some shows in which people were in love, and what he had was not that.  He was, however exceedingly pleased with his wife, Shiba Ikaji.

As they walked, they spoke quietly to one another.  Most often, it was her informing him of who the personages around them were, prior to the couple making introductions.  When Sitatsu sighted Isawa Shema, he nodded in the man's direction, and the couple went to intercept him.

"Isawa-san.  Allow me to introduce my wife, Shiba Ikaji."  The bushi said formally, after bowing slightly to his sworn charge.
Isawa Shema
 player, 11 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Mon 4 May 2015
at 19:35
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
As Shema walked about trying to find out word whether his yojimbo would be making it back from dealing with family business in time for the tournament, he was surprised but not disappointed to be greeted by the man he had been seeking.  "Ah, Shiba-san, I knew you had family business, but I did not know that this would be the result of it."  He bowed to the yojimbo and then to his wife in turn, saying to her,  "Shiba-san, it is a pleasure to meet you now as a Shiba.  Congratulations, and fortunes favor your marriage."  He was truly surprised at the timing of the marriage, though he had known of the betrothal for a long while.

Turning back to Sitatsu, he continued, "You caught me just in time, by the way.  I was about to go hire a wave-man to stand for me in the kenjutsu and iaijutsu tournaments... would you like to come help me negotiate?"
Shiba Ikaji
 player, 1 post
 Phoenix Clan Author
 Wife of Shiba Sitatsu
Mon 4 May 2015
at 19:44
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Ikaji bowed when introduced and again when recognized by Isawa Shema.  She laughed politely and quietly when Shema joked about hiring a ronin to stand in her husband's place.  The Isawa Shugenja and the Shiba Bushi may rib each other when given opportunity, but the heaven's help the outsider that tries to make the same joke.  She thought, as the three walked toward the judges' tent.  When they approached it, she commented,  "Well, I will leave you two to your... negotiating.  I have an event or two that I would like to sign up for as well, and I would like to speak with a few others from other clans before evening."  She then broke from them and went to sign up with the Fox and the Centipede, while they approached the Monkey and Sparrow.

She could just hear her husband beginning to tell his charge where he could go to hire a ronin as they slipped out of hearing.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1345 posts
Sat 9 May 2015
at 05:53
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Line | Shoji, Daichi, and two badly behaved guests]

The appearance of a Kitsune, a larger Kitsune, and an even larger bear gave the two inappropriately behaving samurai pause.  Enough that realized that their behavior was inappropriate for the venue.  Glaring at each other the Yoritomo (Mantis) and the Matsu (Lion) went their separate ways, and exited the line, not seeming to take notice of either Bayushi Kenshin's or Otomo Hajime's pointed commentary.

[the registration line | Kedo, Ikoma Hitori (NPC)]

"Oh, no, you're not getting away from me that easily, Kedo-san," Ikoma Hitori replied, her shorter legs shuffling twice as quickly to keep up with the taller ronin, "you might not be the duel wielding ronin that I've been looking for, but your history--even as little as I've seen of it--is enough for at least one epic.  I'm not going to let you just slip away into the crowd, only to have to watch your exploits from a distance."

[the registration line | Bayushi Kenshin, Otomo Hajime]

Away from the ruckus, Bayushi Kenshin saw the familiar worn grey of the Ronin Kedo approaching, followed by a bright chattery, but unfamiliar voice.  Though, given her cheer and diminutive stature, it really could only be the somewhat infamous Ikoma Hitori.

Not known for her martial exploits, the rather small Omoidasu was known for her bright disposition and endless chatter.
Kedo
 player, 609 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sun 10 May 2015
at 01:55
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 The blush that those words used to generate has been softened somewhat by exposure and the response from the slim Ronin is simply to shake his head and smile as he answers, "There is no shortage of stories about those who have had the opportunity to carry this name, although few of them are still told. Perhaps all that I am to add to them has already come to pass and this is simply their end?", easing off on his long-legged stride in order to permit the diminutive Lion to pace him without having to stretch - his manners, as ever impeccable and unspoken for someone in his colours.

 In short order he draws close to the indicated tents nonetheless, and begins to cast around for the registration line.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 328 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Mon 11 May 2015
at 16:11
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Apparently" Kenshin said with an audible grin, "subtlety will count in this contest."

But then, almost immediately he spotted Kedo ... and a certain Lion. If Kedo was trying to be modest, this was probably not going to be fun for him.

"I think it would be good to introduce you to Kedo-San" he said by way of explanation, before calling out to the Ronin.

"Kedo-San! Would you and your charming companion come over here? There is someone I'd like you to meet!"
Asahina Byako
 player, 55 posts
 Crane diplomat
Mon 11 May 2015
at 16:47
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Spotting (apparently no longer) Asako Ikaji making her way about the various registration lines, Byako decides to take a break from her practice and greet the playwright.

Noting the large Shiba mon, Byako decides to play a bit fast and loose with etiquette, and just address her by her given name.

"Greetings Ikaji-sama! It has been an age since I've seen you. May I please stand with you in line while you sign up for the competitions?"
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 18 posts
Mon 11 May 2015
at 22:29
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Line | Shoji, Daichi, and two badly behaved guests]
"That was anti-climactic," Shoji noted to Daichi in a tone that clearly indicated that he was not disappointed that the two dispersed.  Getting between a hot blooded Lion and a Mantis was not a goal he set for himself for the tournament.

A problem, though, that Shoji had picked up from spending so much time with animals was that sometimes he forgot that discretion and keeping oneself out of another's business was a good idea.  "Daichi-san, could you stay here?  And watch the line?  Somehow I doubt their discussion was about poultices."  Shoji offered a simple command to the bear, indicating that he could stay with Daichi.  While not an expert, Daichi was a skilled enough handler that he shouldn't get in to trouble.

The smaller Kitsune let out a sharp whistle, summoning Anzu.  Then he took off through the crowd in the direction of the Yoritomo, hoping to track him down.
Kedo
 player, 610 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Tue 12 May 2015
at 01:46
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 Kedo - tolerating the company of his Lion escort with surprising grace, particularly given that she doesn't seem to have the rest of her own escort around just at the moment (it's surely unthinkable that she should have travelled with a Ronin unescorted!) - turns at the call, his expression surprised at first, then amiable as he directs the Ikoma towards the Bayushi, answering once closer "We must take out place at the end of the line in due course, but it is good to see you once again Bayushi-san.", flowing into an automatic bow to... well, just about everyone really, since he's a Ronin and most everyone else here is not, "May I make known to you Ikoma Hitori, small of stature, great of reputation, short on ceremony, long on breath... And a companion to be sure that a journey passes swiftly..." - if only by giving you a reason to stretch your stride as far as possible each day - the introduction delivered with a certain sense of humour that suggests the stoic ronin has had a few edges knocked off him on the trip... "Ikoma Hitori, this is Bayushi Kenshin, said by all save himself to be a master of the way of the sword."

 Now there's a typically Dragonish compliment if ever there was one.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 329 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Thu 14 May 2015
at 01:54
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Kenshin returned the bow, first to the Lioness and then to the Ronin (the latter of whom would undoubtedly scold Kenshin if he did otherwise).

"Ikoma Hitomi-San, Kedo-San" Kenshin said, coming closer, "this is my wife's cousin, Otomo Hajime -- one of the Magistrate's of the Son of Heaven. Otomo Hajime-Sama, this is Bayushi Kenshin, Ronin Hero of the Bathhouse Battle and the most recent Battle of Toshi Ranbo. Said by myself to be 'Kedo the Honorable', and by certain Daidoji ladies 'Kedo the Mostly-Invulnerable'. He is known in Toshi Ranbo for his wisdom, tactical expertise, and his sword work; his diplomacy you have already sampled."

"Should the Emperor have need of an additional Samurai, I can personally recommend him."

Which was quite the recommendation. Not that Kedo would actually need a recommendation, given his reputation to date.

[OOC: I think there's more fluff I can add to Kedo's description, but I didn't feel like going back to figure out what Kenshin knew and what he knew-that-was-erased.]
Shiba Ikaji
 player, 2 posts
 Phoenix Clan Author
 Wife of Shiba Sitatsu
Thu 21 May 2015
at 02:26
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Greetings to you as well, Asahina-san.  It has indeed been a while."  Ikaji says, bowing in return.  "Few things would please me more than your company here."

She gestures toward the line.  "What are your plans for the tournament?"
Asahina Byako
 player, 56 posts
 Crane diplomat
Thu 21 May 2015
at 22:36
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"I have entered the contests of the Centipede, Dragonfly, Falcon, Fox, Hare and Tortoise. I do not expect to win any of them, given the magnitude of the competition, but I will act like I know what I'm doing." Byako smiles and winks. "When I saw you, I was, in fact, attempting to practice the fundamentals of some of these skills. What are your plans?"
Otomo Hajime
 player, 113 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Fri 22 May 2015
at 05:26
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Otomo Hajime gave appropriately polite bows to both Ikoma Hitori and Kedo.  As Kenshin lavished praise on the ronin, Hajime carefully observed Kedo with slightly raised eyebrows over scrutinizingly appraising eyes.

Hajime first addressed the Lioness (praiseworthy or not, Kedo was still a ronin) as he said, "A pleasure to meet you Ikoma Hitomi-san, it appears you choose your travel companions wisely."

Hajime then turned his attention to Kedo and said, "When a Grand Master of the Art of Iaijutsu, even one too virtuously humble to comfortably accept the title such as Bayushi Kenshin-san, has nothing but high praise for the accomplishments of a fellow samurai, it certainly behooves me to keep a close eye on the receipt of such praise.

It would seem Kedo-san that you have so far made quite a name for yourself and I can only imagine that you intend to continue that trend here at the Tournament.

Or do you have other reasons Kedo-san, that draw you here to the Golden Sun Plain aside from the lure of competition & glory?"

Kedo
 player, 611 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Fri 22 May 2015
at 17:33
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 Perhaps not scold... But manage to convey subtle social disapproval through the use of his own polite gestures, almost assuredly. At the introductions however, he does repeat the first bow towards Hajime (and without his usual flush, seemingly he's getting used to the hyperbole of others... No doubt thanks to the company he's been keeping on the road), deeper this time as he answers "Bayushi-san does me greater honour than I deserve, Otomo Hajime-Sama. I was simply fortunate enough to be in certain places when certain deeds were called for." with the sort of humility that makes complete sense of the equally worn (and well-kept) hilts on the two aggressively plain (but at a second glance, exquisitely well-balanced) blades upon his hip - for all his dress and introduction, Kedo could not be more obviously Dragon by this point if he had arrived with snow on his sandals.

 As for his plans... Well, a gentle parting of his hands indicates a degree of helplessness before the vicissitudes of fate and the Ronin answers softly "Toshi Ranbo saw many heroes, some in the colours of the Crane, some in the colours of the Lion and some in the colours of other Clans still." - a small indication then of Kenshin - "There was no shortage of courage upon the walls or in the streets. I had some small part to play but in truth I did little more was asked of me." - quite leaving aside the question of 'asked by whom' in order to skip right along to smiling shyly - "I had intended only to travel here and seek knowledge, but I have spent much time having my ears filled with tales of the tournament by Hikoma-san. I may seek to compete in some few of the contests... The opportunity to learn is too great to pass up."
Kitsune Daichi
 player, 5 posts
Sat 23 May 2015
at 21:55
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Daichi wasn't particularly the social sort.  It wasn't that it wasn't in his cloth, but rather it was just more difficult when one didn't speak.  He watched then as his charge and brother moved through the crowd after the Yoritomo.  Some yojimbo might have felt the need to chase, but Shoji's request rooted Daichi in place.  Besides, if Shoji got himself into trouble Daichi would know.

With little else to do, his eyes scanned the crowd.  Finally they found one that caught his interest.  A ronin.  A ronin who was unabashedly born a Dragon.

His eyes searched the ronin's face, lingering longer than they should, trying to see if he could place it.  Beiden pass burned the faces of ronin and Dragon alike into his memory.
Shiba Ikaji
 player, 3 posts
 Phoenix Clan Author
 Wife of Shiba Sitatsu
Fri 29 May 2015
at 03:43
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"I certainly could not hope to compete, or even act like I knew what I was doing, so broadly, so I will be restraining myself to the Centipede and Fox events."  Ikaji said simply.  "Besides, I hope restraint will leave me some time for some historical research on a few of the families which I am less intimately familiar with."  Given the dearth of libraries on the open plain, her research would clearly entail conversation with other samurai.

"Do you have plans outside of your events?" She asked politely.
Shiba Sitatsu
 player, 2 posts
 Phoenix Clan Bushi
 Bland
Fri 29 May 2015
at 04:06
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Having gone with Shema to alert the judges of the Monkey and Sparrow clans to their intention that Sitatsu would stand in Shema's place for their events, he again rebuffed Shema quietly.  "No, I will not be competing in any other events, and before you say it, I will have plenty to do.  You simply underestimate your ability to inflict eventful days on me.  Besides, there are two of you doing that to me now, and there are only so many ways I can split my attention.  At least when I'm standing in for you, I'll know that you're keeping yourself out of trouble."  The yojimbo continued the good natured ribbing, though he was more serious about his concern about splitting his attention than he liked to let on.

As they passed the line on their way out Sitatsu took note of the enormous man watching the line, and commented to his charge, "Are you certain you would not like to have your name removed from the sumai list?  There are less painful ways for a priest to transition to the next life."
Asahina Byako
 player, 57 posts
 Crane diplomat
Fri 29 May 2015
at 04:16
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"I don't have any established plans outside of the competitions, however I was hoping that you might have some free time to collaborate once again on a play? We could present the performance in honor of the victor of the competition. Do you think you could find time for such an event?" Byako smiles her winningest smile and winks. "We could even present it as a gift from your husband's family, if you think he would appreciate that?"
Shiba Ikaji
 player, 4 posts
 Phoenix Clan Author
 Wife of Shiba Sitatsu
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 03:58
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"I would be happy to work on a play with you again... and when you add that last part, I can hardly refuse, can I?"  Ikaji notes with a smirk.  "However, that will cut into my research time.  Would you be willing to help me arrange some conversations?  I'm hoping to speak with a Crab, a Unicorn, a Dragon and an Emerald Magistrate by the end of the tournament... or at least three of the four."
Asahina Byako
 player, 58 posts
 Crane diplomat
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 19:50
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Well, I have seen an Otomo who wears the mon of the emerald magistrates; so I'd venture to guess that he is your best bet for that office. As for the others, I'm sure there well be plenty of people here from all of the Great clans; so it shouldn't be too difficult to speak with one, if you are not too picky about which one. Of course, if you have particular individuals in mind, then the challenge may be greater. As for my help; certainly I will help. But, of course, you know I always love to know what's going on, so, if you don't tell me, don't be surprised if I sniff around!" Byako continues to smile cheerfully, obviously not considering her nosiness to be an offense. After all, you did ask her to be involved.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 330 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 01:36
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Then you will be entering the Iaijutsu competition, ne Kedo-San? I should love the opportunity to duel you in such an honorable circumstance."

There was not even the slightest hint of flattery in the Scorpion's voice, for there was no flattery intended. Not that a good courtier couldn't attempt to turn it into such, of course, but for the erstwhile Ronin the sincerity would be plain enough.

"Will you be entering as well, Otomo-Sama?"
Kedo
 player, 612 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 17:06
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 Kedos features certainly have something of the mountain about them, the accustomed stocky grace of the Mirumoto in his well-developed physique and the hint of complex, no doubt spiritually meaningful tattoos curling around the neck and arms of his garments. His features aren't distinctive enough to stand out in battle however, nor is there any sign of the heraldry (unsurprisingly) that would enable him to be placed as ever having been to the Beiden  Pass.

 Not that that necessarily means anything of course.

 He does however seem in unusually good spirits for a Dragon, their humour tending to the dry and thoughtful rather than openly pleased as is Kedo here, chuckling at Kenshins observation and offering the other man a bow as he delightedly answers "Had I not been, I now shall - if only to help ensure that I remain humble about my modest gifts. You forget Bayushi-san, I have seen you draw, but never seen you strike.", the last phrase couched in a way that makes it quite plain that it isn't a criticism, but rather to the contrary, praise of the others speed.
Kitsune Daichi
 player, 6 posts
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 20:35
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
His hand moved to brush away an irritant from his face.  The scale of the man made it difficult to gauge what it was - a gnat, a fly or a bird.

His eyes left the ronin without any recognition and returned to watching the tent.  If he noticed the Shiba taking notice of him, he didn't take offense or object.  Daichi knew that he stood out.  He had always stood out.  Even amongst his Hida schoolmates he was something unusual.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1348 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 05:24
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Line | Kitsune Shoji, Yoritomo Hashimoto (NPC)]

The disgruntled Yoritomo paused and glared at Kitsune Shoji as he approached.

"What do you want, Fox," he growled, clearly not in the mood for questioning.

[the registration line | Kedo, Bayushi Kenshin, Otomo Hajime, Ikoma Hitori (NPC)]

...but I have spent much time having my ears filled with tales of the tournament by Ikoma-san.

"Ha!  So you were listening to a few of my drafts, Kedo-dono, I thought you were just pretending to fall asleep," Ikoma Hitori laughed, taking note of the Scorpion wearing the mon of the Kakita School, his Imperial bride, and the Imperial Emerald Magistrate (or was that Emerald Imperial Magistrate).  There was a story there, perhaps two or three.  But Ikoma Hitori had not yet unraveled the mystery that was Kedo--and while enigmas from the Mountain were commonplace, enigmas from the Mountain that wore the grey and took circuitous routes in Crane lands were much less so.

But since she was here...

"And you, Bayushi-dono," she smiled brightly at the Bayushi Bushi, "I have heard the end of the latest chapter in your life--your exploits upon the battlefield and the opportunity your hosts gave you to return to your family--but I have not heard the beginning of that tale.  Perhaps, if the opportunity arises, I might be given some details?"

[the registration line | Isawa Shima, Shiba Sitatsu, Shiba Ikaji, Asahina Byako]

Finally, Isawa Shima, Shiba Sitatsu, Shiba Ikaji, and Asahina Byako had made it to the head of the line.  The Sparrow functionary there looked a little frazzled, but she was perfectly polite in her questioning.

"And what contests will each of you be entering?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:39, Fri 05 June 2015.

Kitsune Shoji
 player, 19 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 16:32
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Line | Kitsune Shoji, Yoritomo Hashimoto (NPC)]

If one paid attention, animals were simple enough to read.  There were a number of reasons why an animal might growl - predatory animals growling to express aggression or anger.

Samurai certainly aren't animals - or at least Shoji would never publicly state that, certainly an accusation not to be made as a member of a minor clan - but when emotions came into play they often weren't too different from their flesh made cousins.

Yoritomo Hashimoto clearly was not in the mood for questioning.  Kitsune Shoji, on the other hand, was.  The best he could hope for was to position himself on the Yoritomo's side.

"Just to make sure you are okay.  It's our line,"
he specified, meaning the Fox.  "and I guess I'm just wondering if I need to worry about more trouble from the Lion.  What did he want?"
Otomo Hajime
 player, 114 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 08:08
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Hajime smiled slightly at the modest ronin as he said, "Being "blessed by fortune" to be in the right place at the right time is often more than just simply good luck, either the Fates are smiling upon you for a specific purpose or you have learned how to "make your own luck".  Even then, it is one thing to be in the right place at the right time and quite a different thing to actually know what and how to do something productive & meaningful at that time & place.

One might naturally assume that once again, here & now, you have fortuitously come to the right place at the right time.  So it would be only natural to wonder if yet again you will know the right thing to do in order to excel and distinguish yourself once more."


Hajime turned towards Kenshin as he responded, "While my main purpose here at the Tournament is to act as observer and representative for the Emperor, like Kedo-san, the lure of an opportunity to learn and test myself is too great to be entirely ignored.

As such, I do intend to participate in certain events.  In particular, I have signed on to complete in the Sparrow Clan's iaijutsu competition.  I am sure I shall find the experience most instructive, especially with the potential opportunity to observe a true Grandmaster of the Art of Iaijutsu such as yourself Bayushi-san in full form."


Hajime looked over at Hitori as he added, "Perhaps if there is time available Ikoma-san, you would be good enough to tell me the tales you have heard regarding the particular exploits of both Bayushi-san and Kedo-san?  It appears both of them share a similar sense of genuine humility and are likely to downplay the nature of their recent noteworthy contributions, so if I am to learn the "unvarnished truth" of their notable deeds it will necessitate finding a less inhibited source of knowledge."
Kedo
 player, 613 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Wed 10 Jun 2015
at 17:56
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 "My apologies Ikoma-san, if you ever felt that I pretended to sleep through your storytelling." the Ronin answers with something of a smile about the corners of his mouth, familiarity apparently having given him the comfort to tease, however gently a Great Clan Samurai.

 Hajime though gets a more sober, respectful nod, "It has been said that all men know what is rightful, virtue simply comes from having the courage and the conviction to face that knowledge and act accordingly. I am not certain of this, but it offers an assurance that some might envy." Kedo answers in a typically oblique fashion, no doubt alluding to three sacred commentaries, two scriptures and a fortune cookie with a handful of words and the modest way they're lain out, although evidence of the fact that travelling with a Lion is good for exposing one to the real world comes when he adds "Quite aside from which, I do not believe it politic for the Minor Clans to grant parity with the Samurai of the Great Clans to one not of their number - no amount of skill, even if present may compensate for honour."

 He does let his jaw tighten a little as Hajime seeks the tales of Toshi Ranbo directly from Hitori however, apparently having a better idea than most just what sort of... Embellishments... the Lion woman has been putting on the tale of a nobody Ronin becoming at least as famed (in Crane Lands) as a Great General, let alone the flourishes attached to Kenshin's name!
Asahina Byako
 player, 59 posts
 Crane diplomat
Wed 10 Jun 2015
at 19:53
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Kaze no Kage:
[the registration line | Isawa Shima, Shiba Sitatsu, Shiba Ikaji, Asahina Byako]


Byako bows courtiously. "I will be competing in the contests of the Centipede, Dragonfly, Falcon, Fox, Hare and Tortoise, though I may already be on the rolls, as I believe I have already signed in. I was merely here keeping miss Ikaji company while she waited in line."
Shiba Ikaji
 player, 5 posts
 Phoenix Clan Author
 Wife of Shiba Sitatsu
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 13:06
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Ikaji bowed respectfully to the Sparrow.  "It will be the Centipede and Fox for me,"  She said quietly, noting that her husband and his partner had joined the line behind them.

She stepped aside when she had finished her request and commented to Byako, "The groups I am aiming to interview from were selected because of my relatively spare knowledge regarding them.  Right now I am not particularly discriminating in which person I speak to from those groups, as at this point I do not even know what I don't know about them.  Once I've filled in some of the gaps, I may know who I need to seek to refine my understanding."
Shiba Sitatsu
 player, 2 posts
 Phoenix Clan Bushi
 Bland
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 13:37
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shema and Sitatsu approach the official and bow in turn.   "Shiba Sitatsu.  I will be standing in for Isawa Shema for the kenjutsu and iaijutsu events."  Sitatsu says and pauses for a moment, to allow Shema to confirm his statment.  In that moment, he considers going back on his decision to not otherwise participate, but his resolve firms and he concludes, "That will be all for me, thank you."  Sitatsu then steps aside to allow his ward time to sign up.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:38, Thu 11 June 2015.

Isawa Shema
 player, 14 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 14:16
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shema confirms Sitatsu's statement, then when the Shiba finishes he adds, "Isawa Shema.  I believe I am already signed up for everything, thank you.<Blue>"  He looks at the woman for a moment.  "<Blue>Your courtesy and self control honor your family.  If you do not protest, let me offer you a blessing from the kami."  If the woman does not protest, Shema quietly converses with the water kami, keeping his voice low and gestures small to keep from drawing undue attention to himself.  The invocation complete, the water kami flow out to refresh the Sparrow.  He bows and moves aside letting the line continue.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:54, Thu 11 June 2015.

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 331 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Fri 12 Jun 2015
at 01:17
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"I'm afraid, Ikoma-San" Kenshin began with a confident smile, "that if you know my exploits at Toshi Ranbo then you know nearly my whole story. My beginning is just like countless other Scorpion raised by the Crane; my courtship with my wife and the duel that led to it ... would probably best be told by her. But really, 'I won, defending the Imperial Family's honor' is about all I can tell you."

"Can" in this case meant, "I can't go into detail because it wouldn't be honorable". After all, once a duel was over whatever precipitated it was considered done. To bring it up now ... well, it was Scorpion-like, but it was not Kenshin-like.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1349 posts
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 06:35
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Line | Kitsune Shoji, Yoritomo Hashimoto (NPC)]

”He killed my cousin, what do you think I wanted with him,” Hashimoto snarled, ”I just needed him to know that vengence was coming.”

[the registration line | Kedo, Bayushi Kenshin, Otomo Hajime, Ikoma Hitori (NPC)]

"Perhaps if there is time available Ikoma-san, you would be good enough to tell me the tales you have heard regarding the particular exploits of both Bayushi-san and Kedo-san?"

”There are many, many tales regarding the exploits of the ronin known as Kedo, but you have to know where to look," Ikoma Hitori replied brightly, ”the first verified record of the Ronin Kedo is at the Battle of Cherry Blossom Snow Lake in the third century, where he is known to have defeated Matsu Atsuro and Akodo Shiburo in single combat on the field of battle--that one was in the Ikoma Libraries. So, obviously, it's a name handed down through the generations for musha shyugo.  And there are several unverified accounts of the Ronin Kedo’s presence in major battles and other minor incidents, but he was definitely present, under the command of Hida Bokaru in the eighth century during the Battle of the Tidal Landbridge-- I had to go digging through the Crab records for that one. Did you know except for the Yasuki, their filing systems are atrocious?  I did find one account though, of Kedo engaged in a drinking contest with Hida Unmei at a geisha house in Kyuden Hida from the sixth century, that one was quite entertaining. Oh, but I'm rambling aren't I, you probably want to know about this Kedo."

But before she could go into detail regarding the present Kedo's many exploits in Toshi Ranbo-- at least one involving a bathhouse and a timely intervention...on the wrong side of the dividing wall--Bayushi Kenshin evaded her line of questioning.

...if you know my exploits at Toshi Ranbo then you know nearly my whole story. My beginning is just like countless other Scorpion raised by the Crane...

"But that tells me nothing, Bayushi-san," the Omoidasu complained, "how did you manage to keep you name during the disbanding of your Clan?  What did you do before your engagement?  How we're you accepted into the Kakita Academy?  Details are the heart of any story, but I know far too few of yours.-- and I couldn't very well ask around in Toshi Ranbo too closely, what with the seige and all."

[the registration line | Isawa Shima, Shiba Sitatsu, Shiba Ikaji, Asahina Byako]

"Ah, so you are, thank you, Asahina-san," the Sparrow nodded respectfully, "with so many samurai entering this year, or record keeping is not as it should be."

"Exellent, Isawa-san, Shiba-san, and Shiba- san, apologies for the tedium of the lines,"

"Why thank you, Isawa-san,"
the Sparrow noticeably perked up, "the blessings of the kami are always appreciated."
Asahina Byako
 player, 60 posts
 Crane diplomat
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 16:30
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Byako bowed politely to the Sparrow who had attended them, then turned back to Ikaji "Thank you for the conversation, Ikaji-sama. It has been a pleasure catching up with you. I will see about trying to get some people to let you grill them." Byako smiles and winks. "I'm sure I can find someone who would love to speak to you." Byako makes her departing bow.
Miya Shishako
 player, 23 posts
 Miya Herald
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 16:42
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shishako spots Otomo Hajime in line, speaking with a ronin, a scorpion, and a lion. Quite the odd grouping, but, nonetheless, it was where she headed. Bowing deeply to the group, she greeted him and the others with a smile: "Good afternoon, magistrate Otomo, Ms Hitomi, Mr Bayushi, and you as well. Magistrate Otomo, I have been sent on a quest by an associate, and I was wondering if I may make a small request of you?"
Kedo
 player, 614 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 12:22
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 Kedo assumes an expression that can best be described as 'polite' during the recitation, although it becomes slightly strained when the Hide Challenge is brought up - it long ago passed into legend in his family, if only because of what happened after his great, great, multiple greats grandmother finally put the massive Hida under the table (not, it must be ruefully admitted through any virtuous trick of the elements or tattoo-gift, but simply because she'd grown up in the very highest mountain holds where 'winter wine' is a drink of choice - having grown up drinking the liquid left behind after all else had frozen out, the brews of the lowland can seem no stronger than mothers milk) and the sequence of events that led to the Crab Climbs the Mountain, The Duel of Three Waterfalls and four or five generations of his ancestors towering over their kin.

 As far as he's aware however, most of those tales have been kept out of the hands of the Isawa... And so he seems boundlessly relieved when all attention turns sharply on Bayushi Kenshin.
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 20 posts
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 20:58
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Line | Kitsune Shoji, Yoritomo Hashimoto (NPC)]

"My apologies, Yoritomo-san," Shoji recoiled.  "I hadn't heard of the Matsu's shame.  A fault of my own, I'm sure... I often spend too much time in Kitsune Mori and too little time hearing the news in court."  While it was the truth of his superiors, it was a matter of opinion.  Shoji felt that any time spent in was useless.  Still, he was horribly curious.

"Could you tell me the story?  If there's something I could do to help..."  He cut himself, forgetting his place.  He didn't mean to insinuate that a member of the Fox could do things better than a member of a Great Clan, but he was worried it might come across like that.

He tried to change the subject, or at least cover up for any slight.  "I noticed the Mantis are flying the flags of the Mantis, the Wasp and the Centipede.  I expected to see only one camp this year."  An idle comment, but one aimed at satisfying a second curiosity.
Otomo Hajime
 player, 115 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Wed 24 Jun 2015
at 04:18
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Hajime smiled indulgently as the Ikoma began a length run down on all the historical ronin who had gone by the name of Kedo.  Unless the current Kedo was "immortal", it was highly unlikely that the events being recounted by Ikoma of the distant past were attributable to the Kedo who now stood before him.  Still, one risk interrupting an Ikoma bard during a retelling of tales at one's own risk no matter what one's social position might be.

Hajime was taken slightly by surprise by the arrival of a Miya requesting his assistance.  Refocusing his attention on the Miya and away from the Ikoma, Hajime bowed politely as he responded in a cordial tone, "Certainly you may make your request Miya-san, though until I know the nature of the request I cannot promise unconditionally that I shall be free & able to honor your request.  Nevertheless, if it is within my power to lend aid to a fellow member of the Imperial Family, I shall gladly do so."

Hajime paused for a moment before adding in a softer, more cautious tone, "Miya-san, is this the type of discrete request that perhaps needs greater privacy in which to make it so as to maintain confidentiality?  If so, I would be willing to accompany you to a quieter location where we may discuss the matter in private."
Miya Shishako
 player, 24 posts
 Miya Herald
Wed 24 Jun 2015
at 16:03
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Of course you would not be able to commit until you know what I ask. And, no, it is not a matter that requires privacy.
There is an Asako trained samurai, here at these games, that wishes to have some time to interview an emerald magistrate. I'm lead to believe that she wishes to learn more about the history of the magistrates. Would you have the time to speak to her?"

Otomo Hajime
 player, 116 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Thu 25 Jun 2015
at 09:37
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Hajime raised an eyebrow slightly in response to the request before nodding his head in assent as he said, "I am sure there will be sufficient time in between the specific events I will be participating in, when I will be available to converse with this Asako regarding the Emerald Magistrateship.

What is the name of this Asako who wishes to speak to me?  If she is currently present, perhaps you could introduce her to me?

And speaking of introductions, perhaps now would be a could time to start.  I am Otomo Hajime.  May I know your name Miya-san?"


Hajime wondered why the Miya had made this request of him rather than the Asako making the request directly, perhaps the Asako was "shy" or did the Miya know the Asako personally and was doing a "favor" for her?
Miya Shishako
 player, 25 posts
 Miya Herald
Thu 25 Jun 2015
at 15:44
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"Her name is Ikaji; I believe she married a Shiba and has taken on that family name. And I am aware of her face" Shishako looks around, then points out Shiba Ikaji. "That is her, over there. My name is Miya Shishako, and I am please to meet you." Miya bows again as part of her introduction. "I suppose I could introduce you to her, but she does not know me either; as I said I am seeking your assistance at the behest of an associate of mine."
Otomo Hajime
 player, 117 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Sun 28 Jun 2015
at 01:26
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Hajime raised an eyebrow as he had assumed the "associate" whom the Miya was assisting was the Asako herself.

Hajime said in a curious tone, "I am glad that I can be of assistance Shishako-san.  As Shiba Ikaji-san is not known to you, I will make my own introduction to her soon enough.

If you are not making this request on Ikaji-san's behest, might I know the identity of your associate on whose behest you are making this request of me?"

Miya Shishako
 player, 26 posts
 Miya Herald
Mon 29 Jun 2015
at 15:42
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Shishako looks around once again. "My associate's name is Asahina Byako. She is around somewhere, but I cannot see her face at this moment. I'm sure you will meet her during the tournament sometime."
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 332 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Mon 29 Jun 2015
at 20:13
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"As I said" Kenshin replied sadly, "my story is the same as other Scorpion my age. I lost my family when the others did, was fostered when the others did, and regained my name when the others did."

"About the only difference was that I was fostered by Kakita Keiko, the famous Kenshinzen. Where other Crane sought to minimize the damage Scorpion children could do to their house, she sought to maximize honor. Every Samurai from her House was to be proficient in Iai, and I was no exception."

"As far as my marriage ... I defended the honor of the Imperial family."

As if that was all there was to it ...
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1353 posts
Wed 1 Jul 2015
at 04:37
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Dragonfly Camp | Tonbo Courtier (NPC), Daidoji Sakura, Daidoji Kasumi]

"What ... type of help would be of most interest to the Tonbo?"

"A broad range of introductions would be most appreciated, Daidoji-san," the Tonbo courtier replied politely, "it would be remiss of us to believe that our interests naturally coincide with any of the Great Clans without a more complete interview, and we would not like to be seen as unappreciative of the kindness shown by our traditional patrons among the Dragon."

It was a delicate line the Tonbo were walking. On the one hand, they had their traditional alliance with the Dragon.  But the sudden change in leadership and subsequent strange(r) behavior made that alliance less stable than it ought to have been. On the other hand, their closest neighbors were the Lion, who had a large armed force at their doorstep that had not been used in the recent siege of Toshi Ranbo--and a traditional grudge to settle with the Minor Clan.

[Kitsune Line | Kitsune Shoji, Yoritomo Hashimoto (NPC)]

Hashimoto failed to notice Shoji’s potential misstep, though whether by accident or design wasn’t clear.  Of course it was possible that Shoji’s attempt to pry into his business had gone unnoticed in the flow of conversation, but it was equally possible that he simply chose to overlook a line of discussion that would do noone any good.

”The Tsuruchi, the Mochi, and the Yoritomo were integral in establishing the Tournament,” Hashimoto shrugged, ”of course each of the Mantis families would want the opportunity to continue our legacy.”

[the registration line | Kedo, Bayushi Kenshin, Isawa Shima, Shiba Sitatsu, Shiba Ikaji, Otomo Hajime, Miya Shishako, Ikoma Hitori (NPC)]

Ikoma Hitori listened to Kenshin speak, what might have been a carefully blank expression on her face.  It was an expression Kedo had become relatively familiar with in their travels.  Possibly it meant that the Ikoma Omoidasu was putting together some hitherto unconnected information, possibly it meant that she was composing another poetic epic, or possibly she was considering how best to extract further information.  Whatever it possibly meant, it was definitely a sign that words would be spilling out of her mouth like water from a broken dam in three, two, one…

”Ah ha!  Bayushi Shinobu, formerly Seppun Shinobu, niece of Seppun Tatewaki,” she declared, ”I knew your story sounded familiar!  Plus, I know who to ask to get some of the details.  And Kakita Keiko!  She fought my sister’s father-in-law’s brother, Matsu Chourei, in the siege of Kyuden Doji under the command of Matsu Agetoki.  I don’t suppose, Kakita Keiko-sensei is here?  I still haven’t completed the tale of their battle, and her perspective would add some very necessary detail to the text.”

Left unspoken was the fact that Matsu Chourei was perhaps not the most reliable of witnesses to his own exploits.  Also, Ikoma Hitori’s sister didn’t like him very much, and, depending on Kakita Keiko’s potential response, his tale had every chance of becoming a satirical tale of woe.

But Kenshin’s answer was delayed as the group had reached the front of the line.

”A moment please, ladies and gentlemen,” the Sparrow functionary bowed, ”if you could please give me your name and which contests you will be entering, that would be most helpful.”
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 21 posts
Mon 6 Jul 2015
at 22:13
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[Kitsune Line | Kitsune Shoji, Yoritomo Hashimoto (NPC)]
The Fox cringed.  What the Yoritomo offered didn't make sense: tradition was one thing, but denying one's status was another.  It looked to Shoji that either the Mantis were afraid to punch up to their weight, or their components still held greater loyalty to their past than their present.

Rumor held that the tournament had been scheduled for the Mantis isles, but Toturi himself ordered the change.  Was this some sort of protest?  Would they have shown disunity otherwise?

The Yoritomo had little interest in discussing the other line of inquiry, and Shoji could only scold himself for not leaving himself a way to continue that line.  There was another way, though.  The Matsu.

"That makes sense.  Thank you, Yoritomo-san."

With all due pleasantries, Shoji headed off into the crowd searching for the Matsu.
Kedo
 player, 615 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Thu 9 Jul 2015
at 20:13
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 The opportunity to see that razor mind and steel-jawed memory working upon someone other than himself for a change is an unexpected delight to Kedo, whose lips move silently through the countdown as he watches Hitori thinking, coming within a half-beat of correctly determining the beginnings of her exposition... And as a result causing him to take on a rare smile of equal parts relief and amusement as he waits to see how the master swordsman will wriggle free of a hook who's sting he's been wriggling to escape about twice a day for the last sore-footed month...

 ...but of registration, he of course demures until the end of the line - to offer an insult to any Samurai wearing the symbol of clan and family while he himself stands a house less wave-man by putting himself before them would be utterly unthinkable, be he ever so notorious...
Otomo Hajime
 player, 119 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Sat 11 Jul 2015
at 12:48
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Hajime's attention was drawn away from the ongoing conversation with the arrival of the Sparrow.  With a nod of his head, Hajime replied in a polite tone, "Certainly Suzume-san, my name is Otomo Hajime.

I am registered to participate in the Sumai Event sponsored by the Badger Clan, the Hunting Event sponsored by the Falcon Clan, the Athletics Event sponsored by the Hare Clan, the Personal Combat Event sponsored by the Mantis Clan, the Kenjutsu Event sponsored by the Monkey Clan, the Kyujutsu Event sponsored by the Wasp Clan, and finally but certainly not least the Iaijutsu Event sponsored by your own clan, the Sparrow Clan.

I have also offered my services to help officiate and/or organize those events that I have not entered.  If there is any way that I may help facilitate the smooth operation of the Tournament, please let me know."

Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 334 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Sat 11 Jul 2015
at 14:38
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"I don’t suppose, Kakita Keiko-sensei is here?"

"Not to my knowledge" the Mask of Honor replied, "but it would not surprise me if she were. This is, after all, an important dueling competition."


”if you could please give me your name and which contests you will be entering, that would be most helpful.”

The masked Scorpion turned, the golden character on his mask almost jumping out in the shadow of the tent. He waited a moment, to make sure he didn't step on other toes, before answering.

"Bayushi Kenshin, I will be entering all of them."

He was trying for the title.
Daidoji Kasumi
 player, 74 posts
 Beautiful and Deadly
 Twin of Daidoji Sakura
Sat 11 Jul 2015
at 14:43
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
"A broad range of introductions would be most appreciated, Daidoji-san,"

Kasumi and Sakura bowed in unison, an odd effect that they didn't even need to practice (as "in sync" as they always were).

"We shall arrange it. Discretely, of course ..."

"If you'll pardon us."

[OOC: Okay, so Kenshin is here but going straight to him would be a bad idea. Kedo does not represent a Great Clan -- and would represent the Dragon if he did. Other than Doji Kuwanan,I don't see anybody else on the list that they actually know.

What sorts of contacts do the pair have?]

Miya Shishako
 player, 27 posts
 Miya Herald
Mon 13 Jul 2015
at 16:30
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Miya bows to the Sparrow; "Miya Shishako. My apologies; I will not be entering any of the events."
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1355 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2015
at 04:00
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[the registration line | Kedo, Bayushi Kenshin, Isawa Shima, Shiba Sitatsu, Shiba Ikaji, Otomo Hajime, Miya Shishako, Ikoma Hitori (NPC)]

"Oh, I won't be entering any of the contests," Hitori bowed politely, "I'm just here to record how everyone does."
Kedo
 player, 616 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Thu 16 Jul 2015
at 04:06
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 Kedo remains after the others register of course - there are Clan samurai to make their mark and offer up their names, a steady stream of the great and the good, of the famous and of course, also the new for the tournament is not necessarily about seeking victory but rather about bringing together those from different Clans and schools to test one another, to learn from one another and, ultimately to recall that those with Names less honoured than their own are yet worthy of their measure of respect.

 But at last, Kedo rises and pads forwards upon humble feet (that damn' sandal strap chafing the outside of his foot again) to bow before the clerk and politely reply "I have been called Kedo, and it is my intention to participate in all of the events. It is my hope that I shall learn much in doing so."
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1358 posts
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 05:44
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
The Opening Ceremonies were short, as befit the humble and practical nature of the Minor Clans.  Representatives of the Minor Clans (which did not include any members of the Mantis Clan or the former Wasp and Centipede Clans)  gave short speeches about the honor being shown their Clans before a Sparrow Functionary stepped up to speak.

"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us for this blessed event.  The tournament will begin on the morrow with the Test of the Badger two hours after the morning meal.  Please enjoy the entertainments the town has to offer."

OOC:  please give me some idea about what you're going to be doing with your evening.  A few of you have politicking to do, some of you might want to party it up (well, in a dignified style anyway), and some of you want to find a place to sleep.
Kedo
 player, 617 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 06:12
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions

 To meditate, to sleep... Even perhaps, if the opportunity arises to eat - although if nothing else the common practice in the mountains of sitting on an uncomfortable spur of rock for days on end staring at waterfalls and clouds (they don't get many strolling players) has long inured Kedo to such petty hardships as scant commons and rough bedding.

 But first, he has someone to be very sure is safe with her kin and so he sets out in search of Ikoma Hitori, to ensure that she's escorted to the Lion encampment before he finds his own spot for the night - which given Kedo's recent relationship with Akodos Children might just not be the safest place for him to start out...
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 23 posts
Mon 27 Jul 2015
at 16:23
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
OOC: I think there were a few things for the evening, from Shoji's perspective:
  • Last post, he was going to try ot track down the Matsu, curious to hear the other side of the Yoritomo/Matsu conflict.
  • He also had a training session (date?) set up with Asahina Byako.  An herbalism lesson.
  • I believe Kenshin also offered an Iaijutsu lesson, though that could wait.

I suppose the herbalism lesson could happen near the Lion camp, with Shoji trying to kill two birds with one stone.

Daichi?  Not much of a partier.  He might pass the time in one of two ways: heading out and finding a stone and passing the time beginning a sculpture (we will be here a while), and/or spending the evening preparing himself for the following day's competition... purification and all, yo.

Asahina Byako
 player, 62 posts
 Crane diplomat
Tue 28 Jul 2015
at 17:39
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions


Byako meets up with Shoji for her lesson in herbalism. Later she begins her search for a Crab, a Unicorn, and a Dragon, to try to convince to allow an interview with Ikaji. Other than that, she's always on the lookout for anyone who is involved in any sort of conflict; social or otherwise, so she can observe.
Bayushi Kenshin
 player, 335 posts
 Scorpion Junshin
 Kakita Bushi Academy
Tue 28 Jul 2015
at 23:46
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[OOC: Kenshin and Shinobu will be schmoozing most of the evening, though he will take time out for an Iaijutsu lesson.]

This message was last edited by the player at 23:46, Tue 28 July 2015.

Daidoji Kasumi
 player, 75 posts
 Beautiful and Deadly
 Twin of Daidoji Sakura
Tue 28 Jul 2015
at 23:49
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
[OOC: Kasumi & Sakura will be looking for Courtiers from several of the Great Clans. First from the Crane, then an Imperial Courtier (if available), and finally Lion. Unicorn if one is available. Crab would be nice, though that one makes the least sense. Oh, and Scorpion. Though it would be best if that one was ... "overheard".]
Otomo Hajime
 player, 121 posts
 Seppun Miharu/Magistrate
 Emerald Magistrate
Wed 29 Jul 2015
at 04:25
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
OOC: Well Hajime wants to meet 2 samurai, Asahina Byako (Shishako's associate who asked her to make the request of Hajime) and Shiba (Asako) Ikaji who wants to speak to Hajime about the Emerald Magistrateship.

If Kenshin is putting on a display or teaching a lesson in Iaijutsu, Hajime would like to at least observe (though if it is a private lesson, Hajime will not intrude).

In general, as the Imperial representative to the tournament, Hajime will mix & mingle and try to check in on each of the Minor Clans who are hosting an event to make sure they are well ("show the flag" as it were, display the Emperor's interest & concern for the Minor Clans).

Isawa Shema
 player, 17 posts
 Phoenix Clan Tensai
 Elemental Guard
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 04:06
Re: Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions
Ikaji will want to talk to Hajime and generally make connections with other courtiers.

Shema will be out and about, trying not to be obvious about keeping an eye on the Moshi contingent.

Sitatsu will be stoically trying to keep an eye on both of the other two.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:06, Thu 13 Aug 2015.