Volume 2, Prologue - Opening Tensions.   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: 0
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?"