OOC: Stories!   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: 0
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1341 posts
Fri 10 Apr 2015
at 23:49
OOC:  Stories!
for any short fiction you have written for your characters
Kitsune Daichi
 player, 3 posts
Sat 11 Apr 2015
at 04:00
Ren
"You're not even trying," Kitsune Ren chastised her brother.

"Why do you keep choosing hide and seek, then?  You know I'm bad at it," Daichi replied, staring down at her from a tree branch above.

Daichi, however, wasn't bad at it.  The adolescent was surprisingly light of foot given his size.  He moved like a hinde through the forest.  His long gait and light touch made it almost impossible for Ren to track him.  Sometimes he could avoid the leaves altogether, stepping between rocks, stumps and fallen logs, making his trail almost impossible to trace.   That was what Ren loved about the game - the pursuit.  Then end, however, could be anti-climactic.

"You're not bad at it, you just need to find better hiding spots."  Ren knew it wasn't a fair comment, but she also refused to offer comfort to her brother two years the elder.  They had grown up here, in this southwestern section of Kitsune Mori, not far from Kitsune Kyuden.  Though still children, they had spent hundreds of days tromping about the forest exploring nook and cranny.  The advantage in the game went to the smaller, younger Ren.  Her lanky frame was narrow enough to hide behind trees.  Every acre of Kitsune Mori offered her a thousand potential hiding places.  Daichi had already started to grow toward the hulking man he was destined to become, already almost as tall as his father, his shoulders already as broad.  There were only a limited number of boulders and gullies that could hide him.  "Maybe if you'd dress up.  Camouflage perhaps?"

Daichi rolled his eyes, unwilling to put the work into the game that his sister cherished.  He steadied himself on the branch, before swinging down.  He hung from the branch for a moment before letting go.  His landing was soft, padded by a mat of freshly fallen leaves.

"Or maybe we should find a different game.  You wanted to try kemari, didn't you?" he suggested, his eyes dropping toward his clothing.  His hands began to preen, picking shreds of bark from his clothes and pitching them toward the forest floor.

Ren's eyes diverted to the west trying to gauge how much longer they had.  A few weeks ago it would have been impossible to judge, thick with summer foliage.  Autumn had struck quickly, though, and the trees were thinning.  The remaining leaves were yellows, reds and browns.  A cold storm had already knocked many of the leaves from their branches.  The thinning allowed her to make out the silhouette of Lady Sun through the trees.  She was lower than Ren had hoped, and the young Kitsune noted for the first time that she was casting the golden hues of the early evening.

"It’s getting late.  We have maybe half an hour before we need to head home."

Ren's eyes turned toward her brother, still picking bark and dried leaves from his outfit.  She hated the leaves, the cold, and the early descent of Lady Sun.  She hated autumn.  She hated that autumn meant that winter would soon be here, and that Daichi would soon be off.  It was an honor, she knew.  It didn't stop Ren, though, from begrudging it.  The Fox were a minor clan, living in the shadows of giants.  They needed allies, connections and ties.  Having the opportunity to train and serve amongst the major clans was an honor, one that her family had for ten generations.  Ren was told that it was a reward for something one of her ancestors did.  She cursed it every night.  Not all of the children would go, that was part of the bargain.  Shoji would remain, Daichi would go to the Crab, and Yori would be headed to the Doji in a few years.  Ren and the triplets were still undecided.

"One more time?" Ren begged, little sister to big brother.

Daichi's gaze lifted, finding his sister.  His eyes betrayed no disappointment and no fatigue.  He could hear the worry and apprehension in her voice.

"One more time," he agreed.  One last time.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:03, Sat 11 Apr 2015.

Kitsune Daichi
 player, 12 posts
 Duty.
 Family.
Thu 5 Nov 2015
at 01:23
Camping
Sharing a camp was common enough for the Crab.  Those stationed on the Kaiu wall were very familiar with foreign mons, representatives of every family had visited the wall and wandered amongst the Crab.  Samurai had a variety of reasons – bushi seeking to serve, courtiers seeking to gain credibility, shugenja hoping to learn.  They all came with quests, and when they were done they all returned home.  They all had other things to do, and once enlightened (small “e”) they’d remember that their duty was elsewhere.

The entrenched hosts on the wall at best valued the time these visitors were willing to provide, and at worst resented the fact that the wall was simply a pilgrimage, or an academic exercise for the rest of the Empire.  For the Crab, it was a daily reality, and a gray life of terror with no apparent conclusion.

There were exceptions, of course.  Not every Crab was stationed on the wall, and even for those who were not every moment was spent on the wall.  There were breaks to visit home, breaks to represent in court, breaks to tell stories of the hardships and victories of the wall, and other opportunities to represent themselves to the Empire.

There were also military excursions.  As Defenders of the Empire, the Crab meddled less in the politics of the Empire, but on occasion the generals gave the call, and the soldiers answered.  More than once before that had engaged with the other Clans, the Crane-Crab War for one, the fight to put down the Scorpion Coup another.  War in the Empire, however, required abandoning their posts on the wall and turning their backs on the Shadowlands to march on their brothers.

That is what was different about this march.  The Crab hadn’t turned their backs on the Shadowlands, but instead the Hida, Kuni, Hiruma, Kaiu and Yasuki found themselves marching side by side with demons that for generations they had called enemy.  More than a few Kaiu were tempted by revolt, the act of trusting their engines of war to Oni something that would have been unthinkable at any time before.

“Have you seen him?”
  The bushi’s baritone question marked a pause in his activity.  The pockmarked dai-tsuchi that he had been cleaning was now set down on the earth.

“Yakamo?  Yes. It was his order that gathered us.”  Emphasis informing that his orders united more than just the Crab.  The respondent stood, both uncomfortable with the question and needing to stretch his legs.

The large men shared a school mon, both brothers-in-arms amongst the Hida.  Shared experience offered a level of familiarity and therefore freedom from etiquette, but there still was a divide.  One shared blood and family name with Hida Yakamo, the other owed him an oath loyalty, being borne of the Kitsune.

“They say he’s whole again,” Kitsune Daichi offered.

Hida Kenzan nodded.  “If that’s what you want to call it.”  The sight of the beastly claw where Hida Yakamo’s hand used to be was a jarring, physical embodiment of the uneasy alliance.

Daichi’s eyes cast to the east.  Rays of orange were beginning to trace across the sky, proof that Amaterasu intended to rise again.  The gathered army was near enough to the mountains, however, that the sun’s rise would be delayed.  Craggy peaks would delay the rise, postponing warmth and direct light for more than an hour.  The effect would be amplified as they continued, as valley walls would appear on either side of the army, shortening both delaying the morning rise, and expediting her descent in the evening.  No one had told the soldiers where they were headed, but by now it was obvious.  From this point, the only destination was Beiden Pass.

The answer sat heavily in the air for a moment, echoed by a screech from within the camp.  The noise itself wasn’t unusual, but the proximity was.  Those on the wall knew that the Shadowlands were never quiet.  If they were, that’s when one worried.  What was unusual was the proximity, that the screech came from within the camp – that, and they were supposed to ignore it.

It wasn’t the voice of either bushi that broke the silence, but rather a tiny mew.  Daichi was the first to notice, the mew accompanied by the animal’s furry warmth on his leg.  He reached down, lifting the animal with one hand.  Once placed on his lap, it only took a moment for the kitten to nuzzle in and welcome the warmth of the giant.

“What are you doing here?”
the Kitsune inquired softly.  It wasn’t uncommon for feral animals to trail an army, seeking scraps and waste.  Those with sense, though, ignored this army, the presence of the tainted soldiers chasing off all but the bravest or most desperate creatures.

“He’s just unlucky,” the Hida answered.

“No,” Daichi rebutted, this wasn’t a slight or hungry creature.  There was nothing unfortuante about the animal.  He was where he wanted to be.  “He's thriving."  The Fox lifted the cat, his hands beneath each of the feline's front legs.  Predatory eyes locked.  "He's exactly where he wants to be."