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