Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon.   Posted by Kaze no Kage.Group: 0
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1412 posts
Sun 9 Jul 2017
at 04:32
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
"Philosophy, bah, a waste of time and mental resources," Kitsuki Ryoma growled, "what use are thought exercises with no practical application?"

"I fear you have happened upon a sore point in Ryoma-kun's world view," Kitsuki Fuji laughed, "he has little use for those who pontificate on the nature of flowers."

"Not true!" Ryoma protested, "Flowers, at least, are useful. They may be toxic enough to produce poison and, perhaps, used in the formulation of an antidote. Their presence may tell us something of the mind of the gardener or the lay of the land. Those are useful questions about the nature of flowers. But a philosopher will ask if the beauty of a flower is sufficient to justify their existence, which is simply a worthless question."


"Oh stars, you're Kitsuki Fuji, you wrote the treatise on Kitsuki's Method as it applies to court fashions! My cousin, Ikoma Masahiro, lives by that text!"

Kitsuki Fuji was momentarily surprised, then his ears turned pink with dismay. That particular document was rather embarrassing, having been written when he was young and more assured of his own impeccable taste.

Mirumoto Tamada! I was fortunate enough to hear Kitsune Takumi's account of your diplomatic excursions on the Many is Isles as Yojimbo to Shosuro Shinobu!"

The Yojimbo in question looked vaguely like he had swallowed a frog, as if he were trying to recall any particular events from that eventful mission that might reflect badly on him here.

"And Kitsuki Ryoma! One moment, please," Ikoma Hitori's tsunami of words paused briefly as she rustled around in her bag, "I know I have it in here somewhere, ah ha! I knew I wasn't going to regret carrying this around!"

In her hands, Ikoma Hitori held a bound sheaf of documents and ledgers which she proffered to Kitsuki Ryoma.

"These are copies of all of your case reports since your gempukku, would you mind signing them for me?"

Even the irritable Kitsuki Ryoma seemed a little shocked and flustered that a random Ikoma would ask for his signature.

”Ummm, yes?”
Kedo
 player, 650 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Sun 9 Jul 2017
at 22:25
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon

 Kedo, of course stands aside for this little encounter and permits a small, simple smile to play about his lips as he watches his kinsmen - or rather the kinsmen of a man he once knew well - receive their first taste of what he has endured these past few months, leaving it for them to draw conclusions and make assessments as to what might have been passing through his mind in the process.

 Of course, being a Dragon he cannot help but remark "It seems to me that the dismissal of beauty as sufficient reason for the existence of a thing alone may be premature. Beauty, sourced as it is in wholeness, harmony and radiance may posess an innate worth with stands it alongside healing or insight into a gardeners mind - and that it is something of a supposition that beauty in our eyes alone might be an attribute of flowers - what if the beauty of a flower exists solely for the bee?"

 He may, just possibly have forgotten why he's here.
Agasha Masuyo
 player, 3 posts
 Shugenja
Tue 11 Jul 2017
at 03:36
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
As Kedo, Asahina Bayuko and others enter the camp another follows not long after them.  A woman well enough past her genpuku but still young, her garb garish colors of flames with patterns alternately of scales and feathers, depending where your eyes seek.  Upon her chest is an obvious mon, one of a Dragon encircling a pomegranate.



Her gait is flowing, showing great agility, and her wide-spaced eyes have the look of a sage.  Oddly enough, it feels warmer for a moment as she passes, as if the fire kami travel with her.  Obvious as she is closer is that the sleeves of her kimono are tied up, as if for work.. and tattoos of flaming letters, again in beds of scales, flames, or feathers cover her exposed arms, and can be seen peeking out of her robes elsewhere.

She offers little recognition to the others, but is headed toward a gathering of Agasha, who wear a mon that matches hers.
Asahina Byako
 player, 96 posts
 Crane diplomat
Mon 17 Jul 2017
at 15:10
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
"Bees certainly find the beauty of a flower appealing, since it contains the nectar that they eat. But, then, I suppose you could say that the flower's beauty is not the only reason for its existence, since it is also feeding the bee. And the bee makes honey, which feeds us as well.

Is that what they mean by the connectedness of everything?"

Agasha Masuyo
 player, 4 posts
 Shugenja
Mon 17 Jul 2017
at 18:30
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
The 'fiery' and heavily tattooed woman pauses at the bee/flower conversation and looks between Byako and Kedo, bows lightly with her palms pressed together.

"The beauty of the flower is incidental, for it was intended for the bee alone, who does not have the capacity to enjoy it as such, and it is merely a signal for a harvest.  It is as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but be careful to have humility, for you were not the intended recipient.  There is beauty in many things, as the Kami intended, in their own way.  Appreciation is not universal."

She bows to them again, palms still pressed together.
Asahina Byako
 player, 97 posts
 Crane diplomat
Mon 17 Jul 2017
at 19:02
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
The Asahina bows politely when the Agasha approaches. She maintains a smile, but tilts her head quizzically at the Agasha's statement. After the Dragon finishes, Byako considers it for a moment, then responds in her beautiful, lilting voice; "What makes you believe that the bee has no capacity to enjoy the beauty of the flower, even as she harvests from it? Does not the peasant enjoy the beauty of the rice patty, even as they reap the harvest from it?

Have you asked the bee, or its hive, what it thinks of the flower?

If bees cannot appreciate beauty, who can? Do you believe, perhaps, that a frog can? A bird? Perhaps only those creatures with fur? Or is it only those with the gift of speech?"

Kedo
 player, 651 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Mon 17 Jul 2017
at 23:42
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon

 "It is a window upon to that connectedness, yes. What we see and what we believe we see are not the same and what is truly there may be something else again." Kedo answers, warming somewhat to the topic at hand and automatically making room for the newcomers to the discussion workout even seeming to realise that he's doing so "So it maybe be with the beauty of the flower. We ascribe its purpose as singular but might not the delight of the eye, the calling of the bee and the shaping of the seed all contribute to a purpose greater still? The lesson then becomes one of seeking beyond the superficial if one would discover true insight."

 "Of course." He then proceed to add with something of a twinkle in his eye, the humor inherent in his observation rather typically dragonish and therefore powerfully opaque to most anyone not actually of that clan or possessed of their enthusiasms "The questions of what a bee may know and whether a frog or raven may know more than instinct alone provides - and indeed whether and an appreciation of beauty is itself more than instinct... Those are all separate - but interconnected - questions."
Agasha Masuyo
 player, 6 posts
 Shugenja
Tue 18 Jul 2017
at 02:00
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
The Agasha smiles faintly to both Kedo and Byako, though it is apparent enough that the discourse is pleasing to her, she is not overt in her emotion.

"Certainly in Chikushodo the animals, and possibly even the bees may have enlightenment in comparison with a person, but upon this plane I am afraid only those gifted by the Kami with a spark of divine insight have the time outside of survival to appreciate subtleties of appearance."

A nod to both.

"I will not deny that there are those whose presence is beyond the common, even tanuki, hare or frog, that might not appreciate more than survival, but do you think the purpose, truly, of a flower is to be beautiful, or might it have been crafted by Rokugani to be appeasing as well as purposeful?"
Asahina Byako
 player, 98 posts
 Crane diplomat
Mon 24 Jul 2017
at 22:59
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
"Hmm, well since the question of whether such creatures have this 'spark of divine insight' is separate question, does that imply that a flower's beauty is its only merit, at least assuming we're not talking about something that bears fruit? I'm afraid if that is the narrow mindset we're approaching this from, then it certainly would seem that such a flower is quite useless; there are plenty of things with equally sublime beauty that serve some utilitarian purpose as well. For example, a cherry blossom, while just as beautiful as many other flowers, bears fruit in the form of a cherry. A beautifully written story could be at least as moving as a simple flower, but could also relate some important information.

Surely approaching the world in this way makes so much of it ugly for its lack of utility.

That leads me to believe that we must consider the interconnectedness as part of any such appraisal. And I believe that all creatures, barring, perhaps, those from the Shadowlands or the like, have some capacity for aesthetic appreciation. And, just like in humans, that appreciation is inherently tied to their natures; drives, desires, instincts.

You may think that a bee looks at a cherry blossom and sees a simple larder, where it can obtain food, but I believe that it sees a cherry blossom as a beautiful source of food, just as you and I do."

Kedo
 player, 652 posts
 Would you stand
 upon the mountain?
Wed 26 Jul 2017
at 04:11
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon

 Here, a thoughtful observer might step back and make two observations of particular pertinence to the events of the day; the first being that the camp of the Dragon was indeed the best place to go to gain some measure of insight regarding things not immediately seen... And the second being that while one might set a trap of fiendish cunning to snare a Scorpion or an artefact of sublime beauty to entrap a Crane, to stay a Dragon in his course all you really need is a reasonably interesting question.

 A very thoughtful observer might then go on to note that having initiated the wider stretch of this conversation, Kedo withdraws from it with a gleam in his eye to go and stand beside Mirumoto Yamada, before whom he offers a bow and the soft inquiry "Might it be possible that Kitsuki Morimoto or one of his associates is present within the camp? I find myself possessed of a desire to converse with someone of insight now that the opportunity presents itself."
Asahina Byako
 player, 99 posts
 Crane diplomat
Wed 26 Jul 2017
at 16:39
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
Noting Kedo's withdrawl, Byako queries Masuyo; "Ah, Kedo-san has, apparently, lost interest in this line of thought. I assume you approached us to meet the vaunted personality, as opposed to enlightening me in the techniques of philosophy. If you are willing to continue your tutelage, however, I would greatly appreciate it, Agasha-sama."
Byasko smiles endearingly and awaits Masuyo's response.
Agasha Masuyo
 player, 7 posts
 Shugenja
Thu 27 Jul 2017
at 02:52
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
Masuyo bows to Byako and shakes her head.

"I think that debate might be better with tea and rice at hand, to explore with great leisure.  Consider that an invitation by all means, Asahina-sama."

A smile, and she ties her sleeves up a bit more on her kimono, exposing even more of her 'fiery' tattoos, creating sleeves on her slim arms.

"I would enjoy your company, I am named Agasha Masuyo, Asahina-san.  If I may approach with you, I would consider it an honor."

She bows again.
Asahina Byako
 player, 100 posts
 Crane diplomat
Thu 27 Jul 2017
at 21:18
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
Byako bows in return. "I am Asahina Byako, and the honor would be mine as well. Shall we?"

As they walk towards wherever Masuyo leads, Byako continue to engage in conversaion; "I've heard that the kami often speak to the sons and daughters of Agasha. Is it safe to assume that you are a shugenja?"
Agasha Masuyo
 player, 8 posts
 Shugenja
Thu 27 Jul 2017
at 23:14
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
Masuyo smiles broadly, and it really lights up her face, it is almost unseemly.

"Assumptions are to be done carefully, but I believe your guess may be well informed, since the descendants of Isawa Asahina are well known for their gift with the kami as well." She chides, humor in her voice.  "Indeed, yes, I have the honor to have been blessed with the ability to interact with the kami, and the inclination for reverence of them."

She walks with her, heading to what she should know, or easily assume is the tent that Byako wishes.  She can be wrong, one supposes.

"Might you be so blessed yourself, or are you instead a courtier or one of the famous Asahina artisans, if I might be so bold to inquire openly?"
Asahina Byako
 player, 101 posts
 Crane diplomat
Fri 28 Jul 2017
at 00:37
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
"I'm a mere dilettante; I provide service as a hunting guide, but spend most of my time just talking to people day in and day out." Byako says jokingly, with a wry smile.
Agasha Masuyo
 player, 9 posts
 Shugenja
Fri 28 Jul 2017
at 02:22
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
Masuyo chuckles softly.

"And what sort of prey might you provide, Asahina-san, and for sport, necessity or other?"
Kitsune Shoji
 player, 68 posts
 No animal could ever
 be so cruel as man.
Fri 28 Jul 2017
at 20:14
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
A trio of (F)foxes approached the Dragon camp.  Two of the (capital) Fox variety, trailed a few lengths by a member of the smaller and furrier (lowercase) fox variety.

"How do you think we'll find him?" the middle sized party member asked the larger.  Family resemblance - cheeks and the set of the eyes - made it clear enough that the two were brothers, though one was easily distinguished from the other based on scale.

The taller, and broader of the two, Kitsune Daichi, merely turned and cast a raised eyebrow to his brother.

"I know, I know.  I'm worrying too much.  From what it sounds like, everyone will know where Kedo is," Kitsune Shoji replied.  "Even Anju-" a glance back toward the smallest of the three, still padding along behind them on four feet instead of two, "-can probably find him."

As they approached the Dragon encampment, Shoji's eyes lifted from the trail in front of him.  They rose in search of some sort of messenger, perhaps a young boy, who could find the ronin and bring him to the edge of the encampment.  Shoji doubted that the Dragon would mind if he entered in search of the ronin, but as a member and representative of a minor clan he wanted to be above reproach in his etiquette - he wanted an invitation.

Fortune provided a mixed gift.  Spotting the ronin Kedo just outside the camp Shoji was relieved of the need of an invitation.  Unfortunately, the ronin was occupied in conversation with a Kitsuki.  Instead of interrupting, Shoji paused a short distance from the two and settled in to a patient wait for the ronin to address him.
Asahina Byako
 player, 102 posts
 Crane diplomat
Fri 28 Jul 2017
at 20:59
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
"Well, I wouldn't say I provide any prey, at least I hope to never; I wouldn't want myself or my future children to be the target of any sort of hunt. My favorite thing to hunt, though, is rabbits, though, if required, I will lead a hunt for any sort of prey animal. I don't prefer to hunt predators.
And if it is my duty I will lead a hunt for sport, but I prefer to hunt for necessity. Even if it is for sport, I would rather see the remains used for something productive, rather than feeding the scavengers."

Agasha Masuyo
 player, 10 posts
 Shugenja
Sat 29 Jul 2017
at 04:28
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
A bow of the head as they walked, mostly hiding another smile.

"My apologies, Asahina-san.  I was probing curiously to see if you might work with a magistrate."

She looks keenly at the side of Byako's face for a moment.

"Also, my apologies, does that mean you have taken to eating wild game such as Rabbit?  Isn't that unusual?"  A near smirk.  "A bit gamy, isn't it?  Mountain Tuna can be like that, but the flavor is amazing in many dishes."

A slight pause in speech, and she makes a face of disgust, possibly.  "Don't try it uncooked, not good for sashimi."
Asahina Byako
 player, 103 posts
 Crane diplomat
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 17:21
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
For her part, Byako doesn't seem to display even slight disgust at the idea of eating goat or rabbit, even when the idea of eating it raw is proffered. "I suppose it is unusual, at least amongst the samurai caste within my clan, but I enjoy it. The Bonge and, even more so, Hinin, however, even amongst the Crane, often have little choice but to rely on whatever they can get to eat; if they can get game meat, that is far better than starving. That is far more productive than simply letting it go to waste."
Agasha Masuyo
 player, 11 posts
 Shugenja
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 18:32
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
Masuyo looks keenly at the other woman, Byako, a long moment without speaking, before looking forwards again as they walk.

"A very practical way of thought, Asahina-san.  Dragon, in a way.  I was not aware that your clan's hinin were so enterprising, though that is expected of the Bonge.  One supposes that underestimating the Crane is never in any self interest.  Crane sets the standards for the Empire, yes?"

A slight smile.

"Then possibly a dinner invitation for you might be in order.  I know someone who cooks a mountain tuna dish using unicorn spices that is something to be experienced, especially served with quality Crane rice.  Very lively on the palate."
Asahina Byako
 player, 104 posts
 Crane diplomat
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 19:26
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
"Generally hinin, at least eta, would get game meat as a byproduct of preparing and curing a pelt for use by someone from a higher caste, I believe. As you imply, the Bonge may actually seek out the game themselves, in more remote areas.

And I would certainly enjoy trying out this exotic recipe; experiencing new things is certainly one of my passions."

Agasha Masuyo
 player, 12 posts
 Shugenja
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 19:36
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
This smile touches the Shugenja's eyes and rests there comfortably as she looks back again.

"I will make arrangements, then.  I hope the food is as good as I have supported it to be."

"Interesting that the great supporters of fish and rice also lean to the practicality of eating what food is available.  Scandalous."

she looks away, still smiling.
Kaze no Kage
 GM, 1417 posts
Thu 10 Aug 2017
at 21:13
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
Kedo:
"Might it be possible that Kitsuki Morimoto or one of his associates is present within the camp? I find myself possessed of a desire to converse with someone of insight now that the opportunity presents itself."


Mirumoto Yamada hesitated for a moment before answering then shrugged.

”Kitsuki Morimoto-san is coordinating negotiations with our cousins among the Dragonfly. Though I am certain he would welcome a fa...fellow seeker of knowledge,” he corrected himself.

Ikoma Hitori, who was busy acquiring the chop of a startled Kitsuki Ryoma (who was, for once, surprised by something), pricked her ears at the mention of Kitsuki Morimoto--a rare and unexpected lead in her ongoing search for the mysterious two sword wielding ronin that she knew only as Tsutomu.

everyone please roll awareness/courtier TN 30, any emphasis applies (please tell me which one you are using), raises for extra information, 1 free raise per Rank in a Dragon school, 1 free raise per TWO ranks in a Phoenix school or a Minor Clan school

Kitsune Shoji:
Fortune provided a mixed gift.  Spotting the ronin Kedo just outside the camp Shoji was relieved of the need of an invitation.  Unfortunately, the ronin was occupied in conversation with a Kitsuki.  Instead of interrupting, Shoji paused a short distance from the two and settled in to a patient wait for the ronin to address him.



A ronin did approach the Fox contingent, but it was not the ronin Shoji was expecting. The ronin Yuudai noticed their presence and wandered over.

”Ah, Kitsune-san, Kitsune-san, this is an unexpected pleasure,” Yuudai bowed, ”are you also seeking enlightenment among the students of the Dragon?”
Agasha Masuyo
 player, 13 posts
 Shugenja
Thu 10 Aug 2017
at 22:01
Volume 2, Chapter 1 - Day 1, Speaking with the Dragon
Edit:

Masuyo nods to her companion and then her gaze travels to the courtier, a smile passes on her face.  She ponders a few moments then raises a hand to wave to such an august personage a moment.




16:58, Today: Agasha Masuyo rolled 23 using 5d10, dropping the 2 lowest rolls, rerolling max, unique dice with rolls of 8,9,3,6,4.  Courtier, TN 30 (Raises used to meet TN)

This message was last edited by the player at 18:04, Fri 11 Aug 2017.