Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji.   Posted by J, Radio Broadcaster.Group: 0
Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 364 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Sun 11 Jan 2015
at 07:56
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Shichiroji reads more quickly as the story picks up. Could his own ancestors also be ancestors to the emperor? The thought makes him excited, and a little dizzy. He wonders whether he could show the scroll to his mother, but he's afraid taking it to the hospital might risk it in some way. In any event, he definitely wants to speak to her about it.
Futsu Nushi No Kami
 player, 17 posts
Mon 12 Jan 2015
at 04:40
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
The tale shifts to the Kokoro and Yukisoru, particularly Ki and Rika. Ki had begun having dreams, nightmares, and visions of a flaming palace. Rika, his older sister, had also begun appearing in his dreams. It notes that the Kokoro had a shrine in Yokohama in which Rika had lived at for many years. Her powers as a miko were legendary in the region, and until the hostilities it was not uncommon for her to meet with the Emperor personally during his visits to the seaside village. The writer notes at this point that the shrine for Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami in Yokohama was stolen from Susanowa one thousand years ago, to the year.

Yokohama was never the seat of any great power at any time. The little village was a fisherman's haven at best, a haven for mischievous kami at worst. The wind was harsh and biting, and it was not uncommon for folk to attempt to placate both kami simultaneously. For this reason candles faded more quickly and forges never burned very hot, and the wind rarely was favorable, often knocking objects over in homes, boats, and shrines. However, times had begun to change and the temperaments of all peoples shifted.

Takosawan fisherman began to eschew worship of Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami in favor of Susanowa and immediately began reaping the rewards. Fine winds blew at their backs and fishing became more productive. The Ariwa clan itself began to commission paintings, statues, and clean-ups of ancient, hidden Susanowan shrines. Words whispered of Ariwa fighters and soldiers moving as the wind, jumping higher and moving quieter. It was at this time that the Emperor was assassinated for his staunch refusal to elevate worship of a fel wind god. It was at this time that the Emperor position was dissolved in lieu of a Shogunate with the killers elevated to ultimate power.

The author takes a moment to tell the tale of Ki no Yukisoru, the oldest son of Raiku no Yukisoru, and the father of Kura no Kokoro, Nozomi no Kokoro, and Tadasu no Kokoro. A small note on the side here indicates that the two girls and one boy were initially clan Yukisoru, hinting at a dark fate for their clan. Raiku was a potent daimyo of a failing clan and his son showed equal aptitude with both katana and yari. Ki was notable for his infallible will and his fiery temper. It does note that the failing of his clan, and the waning power of his ancestors, gave him a startling weakness of spiritual attunement. In order to bolster his clan's power, he had been wed to a Kokoro miko named Honoka no Kokoro.

Ki was tattooed in preparation for the ceremony, presided over by the Kokoro clan and Rika when the Fuji attacked. Susanowa was not interested in letting his rival return, stirring the hearts of the mountain dwellers to descend on Yokohama. The Yukisoru protected the ritual with their lives, falling one by one until all appeared lost. However, during the foray, the Takosawa and their samurai arrived by boat. They joined in battle against the Fuji, pushing the clan back into the wilderness.

Then, when all seemed in their grasp, the Takosawa turned on the Yukisoru. The battle was described as an outrageous massacre, one in which Raiku no Yukisoru fell in a glorious death. The ritual, meanwhile, near completion, was assaulted. Flames leapt from nearby candles and braziers to attack the Takosawa, and all was nearly complete. It was here that Rika no Yukisoru was slain at the height of the ritual, and so was Ki, run through with a spear. The ritual had not failed and Ki's spirit was both fused and obliterated with that of the great katana artifact. The tale describes the Takosawa assailants being reduced to columns of ash in that instant, the entire shrine scorched in an intense fire-flash. The Kokoro survived the incident, guarded by the flames.

So it was, in that day, that the clan of Yukisoru was annihilated, their blood having been spent in that dark hour. What the tale also implies, though, that unlike other incarnations of the Flame Sword, Ki's personality survived the possession to a degree with Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami almost acting as a possessing spirit. As successful as the ritual was, it had also failed to truly combine both mortal and immortal cohesively. Such an abomination affected much of what happened thereafter. With his children as the last heirs of the Yukisoru name, Ki formally dissolved his dead clan and they took on the name of Kokoro. It is not known whether this was the will of the Flame Sword... or Ki himself.

~
Shichiroji is forced to stop reading, his eyes growing a little try. He has a moment to pause and muse over what he has read.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:06, Fri 16 Jan 2015.

Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 365 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Thu 15 Jan 2015
at 08:12
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Shichiroji stands and stretches his back, thinking about what he has read. Parts of this legend have appeared in other folklore that has been passed down, but never has he seen all of these ideas combined. He has also heard of possessed swords, though he never really thought that a human soul could possess an inanimate object. Only kami did that.

He shuddered to think about what a sword like that would look like--and feel like. Would it shiver in his hands? He certainly had shivers down his spine. All of this information made for very compelling reasons to get the sword back, though he didn't think he would like to use it.

In any event, the read leaves him very unsettled--more so than hearing about his own dark fate
Futsu Nushi No Kami
 player, 18 posts
Fri 16 Jan 2015
at 00:52
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
The tale begins with Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami's retribution against those that had aligned themselves with the wind kami. With Ki's soul bound to both body and blade, his power had somewhat diminished, held back. Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami, for the first time in known time, had some mortal limitations. The scroll describes Rita having survived in spirit, and through trapped in the spirit world, could still commune with the great one.

Now more reliant on mortal armies Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami called for champions among his people. All in the Kokoro tribe came to him, steadfast in their praise and respect of the Burning Blade. To him he commanded this tale be put to paper, and all previous writing be re-written on fresh parchment and with "fresh sensibilities of breath and tongue". His temples and shrines began to buzz with activity as old tablets, scrolls, and writings were broken, stripped, and burned. Artisans and scholars enjoyed a small revival in the area as Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami refreshed his aging sources of worship, attracting new devotees as well.

Several smaller clans enjoyed blessings under his power, inspired by his might and taking up the sword. Trapped in the half-dead body of Ki, Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami instead focused not on his wrath but instead on a small contingent of ronin. The Kokoro clan plundered their coffers to pay for the best unaligned warriors for their Lord to receive. Once within his grasp, he offered many estates to them, giving graciously but demanding their loyalty. They swore themselves to him, many even taking upon the name of Kokoro, abandoning their past lives.

Glory was found, and Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami lead the 13 of his samurai to the town of Yokohama where they slayed all the worshipers of Susanowa, chasing them into the ocean where the tides ran red. In a fit of vengeance, Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami took all loyal, battle-ready men from Yokohama he could muster and cast his fury through the mountains. There they battled the war-torn Fuji. It was said that, upon achieving his great victory, burst with such an awesome light that all Fuji that survived slit their own bellies. It is said the Fuji's mountainous villages burned for weeks on end.

During this time Susanowa had the Takosawan clans recalled to its domains, leaving its outlier villages to the wrath of Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami. He took them, killing any that resisted. A dark lethargy fell over the Ariwa holds, with debasement and debauchery taking hold. It began with the bureaucracy falling to venality, such that loam pits cost so much to bury loved ones that corpses remained in homes. Rice crops surged with worms, which became a new food staple after harvests failed. Bones replaced rotting wood in the rainy, humid climate. The dead became their own commodities, bones traded for worms. Women and men were sold to the upper class to be used and discarded either for sex or sacrifice. Fire was soon outlawed altogether, and the Ariwa descended into a slithering calamity.

When the 13 fought the warriors of such a society they found men armored with bone and wielded strange magics. They moved silently and carried strange sickles made of dog ribs, vomiting an infectious blood. Their arrows were dipped in rotting corpses, and wounds caused grew infectious. Though no 13 died of such harrowing bites, many lower soldiers committed ritual suicide before succumbing, fearing they'd rise as angry kami.

The final battle drew near and Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami descended on the dark kingdom. Though a guide for most of the years retaking Susanowan lands, Rita could do little to assist here save one noble gift. She rose into the sky, passing into this world, her spirit becoming as a beacon of flame. It burned like a setting sun, casting light over the land. With such a gift Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami and his 13 warriors traversed the cursed land and slayed the remaining daimyo and their fel samurai. When the final battle drew near with the shogun, Tengu no Ariwa and Susanowa... the latter had disappeared. Indeed, in the form of a weapon, Shi no Ariwa had escaped the stronghold with Susanowa in tow... leaving his brother defenseless. Abandoned and without hope, he committed seppuku, Futsu-Nushi-No-Kami taking his head.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:24, Fri 16 Jan 2015.

Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 366 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 23:55
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
With a sigh, Shichiroji leans back and allows the scroll to roll up once more. He rubs his eyes, which are red from reading so much. He has no idea how much time has passed. His head is full of the tale he just read, and he turns it over in his mind. Now he sees why it is so important to retrieve this sword. He resolves to speak with the spirits about it at once. Renshu might also be able to assist with his own talents.

A deep rumble in his stomach brings his thoughts back to the present. He stand up and stretches, then leaves to find something to fill his empty stomach.
Kamaitachi
 NPC, 17 posts
 Bound Spirit
 Fractured
Fri 23 Jan 2015
at 03:10
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
As he walks along he feels a cold breeze move through the hallway leading to the staircase, lights dimming slightly. The hair on the back of his neck stands on end, the wood under his feet feeling moist.

Something feels wrong.

He's not sure if the tales of Susanowa's dark kingdom have gotten under his skin, but he feels a creeping shadow. Even worse, Kamaitachi appears on the ceiling, eyes wide upon an otherwise placid countenance. Something is here. Tread lightly, vessel.

She looks to her left, then right, then reaches down to her feet and pulls herself out of sight. When he continues down to the bakery, he sees Lydia Redford pulling some bread out of the oven. She is often baking late into the night, usually desserts like banana bread. She looks at it in frustration.
Lydia Redford
 NPC, 4 posts
 Survivor
 Pillar of the Community
Fri 23 Jan 2015
at 03:20
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Oh, good evening Mr. Maeda. You caught me. She puts her hands on her hips. I think I've lost my touch!

The bread has refused to rise, the corners of the pans scorched. Lydia looks immensely distraught. This is my second batch, I swore I used enough leavening. The oven is also being difficult, I used up more wood than I intended. I need to make sure I have enough for tomorrow, I suppose I'll have to throw this out...

The oven is already cooling, the fires underneath dying out quickly. It's all for the best, my bones are beginning to hurt.
Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 367 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Fri 23 Jan 2015
at 06:44
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Shichiroji peers pensively into the oven. I will look at it, he says thoughtfully. He stirs the dying flames with a poker, then takes the bellow and blows carefully into the fire. As he does he wills the flames to rise, just a little, and give off gentle warmth. When he is finished, he turns to Lydia.

Shall I get in more wood?
Lydia Redford
 NPC, 5 posts
 Survivor
 Pillar of the Community
Fri 23 Jan 2015
at 20:37
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
The flames resist his call, their tongues suppressed. Shichiroji feels his fingertips and nose growing cold.

Lydia goes into the pantry, pulling out bread baked from the day before. Here, I have some wonderful zucchini bread. I have fresh butter in the ice box if you like. I'm going upstairs for a wink. Would you be a dear and scrape out some of those pans? My bones ache something awful.

She leaves until tomorrow. Maeda has a choice of food for the late night, though most of it seems to be going stale.
Kamaitachi
 NPC, 18 posts
 Bound Spirit
 Fractured
Fri 23 Jan 2015
at 20:54
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
His avatar appears again, this time kneeling in front of the oven. Ki was a fool.

She waves her hands over the flames, the embers glowing. A shadow of Ki's soul still in the blade. When the Flame Sword returned to his realm, Ki's body perished. His soul ate itself alive in torment. I warned him. He did not listen. When his soul perished I was finally released.

She looks at Shichiroji, her eyes glowing yellow as a cat's would.
Maeda Masayuki
 NPC, 25 posts
 Love of Drink
 Love of Life
Wed 4 Feb 2015
at 16:23
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Shichiroji decides not to question Kamaitachi on the real legacy of Ki. Perhaps it is best to let such tales live as the legend intended.

As Shichiroji prepares to leave to see his comrade, Renshu, his uncle enters the room. A man that once dressed quite sharply, his clothes are beginning to show signs of some wear. He wears a western style of dress: slacks, vest, tie, and coat as well as a buttoned shirt. The gold embellishments are gone, such as the glistening belt buckle and shiny cufflinks. He takes a fedora off of his head, sitting on the bed.

The one thing he does have on him is his favorite piece, an M1911 Browning semi-automatic pistol. The weapon removed and the traditional caring ceremony begins. He begins taking apart the firearm and starts to clean it. He speaks in a low tone, not looking at Shichiroji. His shoes are still on. Look at you, going to go see your Chinese friend again?

He removes a tiny black box from the coat lying on his bed. He takes a pinch of the black powder within and sighs. Times have been tough lately.

Taking a wire brush, he starts cleaning the chamber. You know, this is not a good side of town. This bakery will hold you back. There is a lot of money elsewhere, you know.

He sniffs, rubbing his nose with the back of his hand. He looks older, more weathered.

This message was last updated by the player at 16:23, Wed 04 Feb 2015.

Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 368 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Tue 17 Feb 2015
at 06:23
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Shichiroji is suddenly wary, his suspicion overcoming his usual affection for his uncle.

Greetings, Ojii-san. How have you been? He asks pointedly. I am going to see Renshu-san. He is knowledgeable.

He squares his shoulders and looks at his uncle, refusing to be intimidated by the gun. I like the bakery. It gives me what I need.

But perhaps you have another reason for coming than a visit with your beloved nephew?
Maeda Masayuki
 NPC, 26 posts
 Love of Drink
 Love of Life
Tue 17 Feb 2015
at 08:28
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Oh, you know your uncle, always stopping by unannounced. He sighs, running a rag through the chamber. I guess it is in my nature.

He appears to be stalling, for what in particular isn't immediately clear. Well.

Looking up at Shichiroji, Masayuki nods, then casually reaches into his jacket. He removes a wad of bills, wrapped up with a rubber band. I may have waded too deep in the river, Shichiroji. This is an advance to kill Derek Gah-ranger. He is a Chicago detective, a police officer.

Who this man is would be a mystery, but his position is not. It would appear his uncle has indeed remained in the shady businesses Gary Moore once dabbled in. Whereas Shichiroji took a more honest road, Masayuki's addiction has trapped him.

Chio has not recovered, her suffering continues. This advance here... we could take her home, Shichiroji. All of us could go home.

Shichiroji can tell Masayuki's intentions are not wholly pure. He has spent his whole life around his 'uncle' and his tone belies other intentions. While he appears to have a genuine desire to see his adopted family return home, there is much to be said for his own escape. Indeed, thick hints of guilt line his speech. Masayuki has often borrowed or held most funds to himself despite the needs of Chio's expensive treatment. To see him suddenly give would be suspicious indeed.

Selfish intent or not, the prospect has its value regardless. To bring his dying mother home to his father, a father that has sacrificed so much to see her live...

If she could survive, perhaps get through this rough period, taking her home would be effectively sentencing her to death. Masayuki seems hopeless enough to accept this, but is Shichiroji?

He has a few choices...

He can agree with his Uncle and take him and his mother back to Japan, cutting off all ties.

He can disagree with his Uncle, leaving him to his own choices, come what may.

He can disagree with his Uncle, and attempt to convince him to run back to Japan, to home.

He can disagree wit his Uncle, and attempt to rectify his situation by trying to heal his affliction, or killing those keeping him trapped in a cycle of death, money, and black salt...

This message was last edited by the player at 03:52, Fri 31 July 2015.

Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 369 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 18:26
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
None of the possibilities seems appealing to Shichiroji. He would like to have his family whole again, his mother healthy, and to be back in Japan. Despite his friends in America, he fervently wants to return to his homeland. The taint of his uncle's "black salt" makes his stomach turn, and his hands shake as he runs them through his hair.

Ojii-san.... Shichiroji pauses, allowing long moments to creep by.

What do you want? We can help you get home to Nihon. Shichiroji is not sure how this could be accomplished, but he feels he could manage it. He pauses again to collect his nerve before he speaks again.

Honored Ojii-san, I do have concerns. I...suspect I know what you are involved in. I think if we all returned to Nihon right now, Okaa-san would die.

Pause.

But I also think that perhaps you are in trouble. I don't want you getting my mother in trouble as well.

Pause.

I can help you. I think I can help you. But first...the black salt must come to an end....
Maeda Masayuki
 NPC, 27 posts
 Love of Drink
 Love of Life
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 04:07
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
He rubs his nose at the thought, sighing. He pulls the vial out of his coat, rotating it around in the dim light. To think... such a small thing could cost us everything.

Masayuki looks to his nephew. I see you still hold hope for the treatments, I felt you may come to that conclusion. However, if I were to leave I feel you and your mother would be put in danger either way. That is why I hoped you would agree... if we all left, we would be safe again.

The vial in his hand glistens, the rolling black rocks within may as well sound like cascading boulders, dense with calamity. Sweat dots his brow, his muscles tense, and his hands shake. If you help me... I will owe you a great, great debt...

His voice strains and he does the unthinkable. He gets off the bed onto his knees, casting the vial before him, the glass harmlessly traveling to Shichiroji's feet. He throws himself at the ground, groveling at the lowest possible prostration. Forgive me, please!

Shichroji, having agreed to assist his uncle, can accept his uncle's apology.

His uncle, thus far, has caused immeasurable harm. Shichiroji can teach him a lesson and reject his apology.

In either event, Shichiroji must decide to either assassinate an American police officer... or find those that hold the leash on his Uncle's, and by extension, mother's, life.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:14, Fri 07 Aug 2015.

Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 370 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 16:27
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Shichiroji kneels in a wide-legged, authoritarian stance. He takes the vial and tucks it into his shirt, shuddering at the touch. He will destroy it at once. But first, he clenches his fists on his knees and breathes out deeply.

Ojii-san, I will forgive you. But you know, forgiveness must be earned. Shichiroji sits up taller and calls on his inner fire to inspire himself--and his uncle--for his next words.

Saaa, good medicine tastes bitter in the mouth, ne? Giving me the black salt is the first step. It will be hard for you, but I will destroy it and keep you from it. It is a great evil. He allows his frustration to flare a bit, knowing that his power will radiate out a bit.

But you also know, If you do not enter the tiger's cave, you will not catch its cub. We must eliminate the threats that you have created.

Shichiroji leans forward to look into his uncle's eyes. Tell me--who is your master?

With his strength burning inside of him, Shichiroji feels powerful. He knows that acting strongly can alleviate the threat--but a small voice in the back of his head also warns him not to be too hasty...
Maeda Masayuki
 NPC, 28 posts
 Love of Drink
 Love of Life
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 18:39
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
He hesitates, but finally speaks, sitting up. Rachael Virgilio, her name is Rachael Virgilio...

The name does not sound familiar. They are a clan in Chicago, from Italy. I was surprised to find something like this in America, families that have great businesses. But to find great wealth they sell contraband and... stop those that get in their way.

This black salt is their doing. I have assisted in moving it, protecting the sellers. For many months I worked not knowing my master's name, and she came to me, in person. To them, I was a great asset. I was an unknown here, no record, wartime experience... and she rewarded me.


He puts his hands to his head. She gave me this job, excellent pay, to do her deed. She gave me that vial, saying it was 'on the house'. There was something strange about her, disturbed, cold. My hair stood on end, and I felt worms in my collar, but she was beautiful... radiant... too much so! I came here to ponder my fate, nephew.

Fear has opened my eyes but chained my limbs...


Shiciroji can inquire more on specifics. He would know of the underground crime here, certainly, but he may need to do more research. There are several contacts he knows. Perhaps if he could find that German doctor that worked with him and Gary Moore and make inquiries. He could also trouble the spirits for direction as well...
Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 371 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 18:23
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Because he knows the nature of the black salt, he allows his eyes to drift around the room, looking to see if any of the spirits he communes with have heard what his uncle said. Perhaps they would know of this "Rachael Viriligo." He is surprised to learn that the person in charge of his uncle is a woman; he thought that only "tough guys" were in charge in this country.

The contraband... Shichiroji waves his hand, dismissing it. There are many things in America that are contraband that he finds normal. But the black salt...Ojii-san, it is made of very terrible things. Are the....Vi-ri-li-go responsible for it? He stumbles over the unfamiliar name. But if these people are responsible for the black salt, that is a lead he did not have before.

For long moments he sits quietly, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. He does not know much about the criminal underworld, but he recalls that when Gary disappeared, it seemed that his own enterprises vanished. Perhaps the same would happen if this new woman were to disappear--for he does not think that they will voluntarily quit producing the black salt.

He rests a comforting arm on his uncle's shoulder. I think Ojii-san has many years of sake drinking left. I will ask about this woman. I have many connections, you know. Frowning, he adds But I will leave your name out of it. Perhaps you should go about as normal while I see how we can extract you from this knot.

Already he is planning to see Renshu to ask about the German doctor, as well as query the spirits.
Maeda Masayuki
 NPC, 29 posts
 Love of Drink
 Love of Life
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 00:01
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
As Shichiroji's eyes cast themselves into the spirit world he would be left stunned as, for a moment, his Uncle's soul is visible in the spirit realm like a blinding light.

The soul is difficult to look upon, as his uncle's very soul has taken a portly, almost pig-like visage. The more frightening effect of this may be the fact that he salivates. Something about the taint in his uncle's soul drives a hunger, and its luminosity is not so much that but the striking sensation of the aforementioned hunger. Whatever this salt is attempting to do, it is making the souls of men press into the world of the kami, and making them tempting morsels to boot. They're responsible for everything! They are true evil, I can feel it, but the salt... the salt is so...... I feel so alive! But what good is it if I hate myself for living?

Tears well in his eyes as Maeda puts his arm on his shoulders. He eventually lets Shichiroji go, more tatters than man.

With that, Maeda heads to see his old friend Renshu. There is a lot to discuss.
Renshu Sze
 Collector, 45 posts
 Businessman
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 00:20
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Maeda makes his way through the cold Chicago night, and there is much to consider.

The simple life in Japan seems so far away and now he has become irrevocably tangled in some war going on in Chicago, in this world and the next.

The blood spirit he ran into, the one inhabiting Greg, is thankfully trapped in the other world. For now, it may be best to focus on Greg. Contacting Susan or her friend would be unnecessary, both women will be coming to his shop shortly to discover what Shichiroji risked his life for. It would appear that the Virgilios are the central villain with many schemes, among them the blood spirit being tormented by his own 'clan' as he called it.

Knocking on the shop door and ringing the bell twice gets the attention of the old man. Come in, come in, it's so very cold outside!

The smell of tea permeates the shop, and Renshu rushes into another room to procure a cup for him. As Shichiroji has come to learn, Renshu's tea-making skills are second to none. Your arrival is fortuitous, Master Maeda! I have just gotten off the phone with the young Mrs. Susan Moore and she intends on visiting!

With cup in hand, Shichiroji has a number of questions he can direct to Renshu.

One, he can speak to him about the black salt... now that it is in their possession.

He can inquire more about the conversation with Susan.

He can inquire as to Greg's current disposition.

He can also ask about the strange surplus of spider webs that have cropped up in the shop! What on earth is going on here?
Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 372 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 18:38
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Shichiroji accepts the cup and holds it in both hands, allowing it to warm his body. He inhales deeply, enjoying a brief moment of relaxation. Then, with a sigh, he sets the cup down. He pulls the black salt from his shirt and places it in the center of the table. There is a sense of profound relief as the vial leaves his hands.

Renshu-san, I took this from Ojii-san. He got it from the people who are in charge of distributing it. He sighs deeply and rubs his forehead. It has split Ojii-san's soul. Probably it does something like that to the others.

Shichiroji explains his uncle's predicament, noting that he works for a different crime family now. After he's finished, he broods for a moment, sipping his tea.

I wanted the advice of honorable Renshu-san, he says. Ne, what are the women doing calling you again? And why don't you clean the shop better? He gestures at the spider webs, stifling a frown. This would not do in a Japanese home.

As he looks around the room, a thought strikes him. Perhaps he can go into the spirit world and confront his uncle's shadow. If he destroys both the vial and the shadow, maybe that will end his uncle's dependence on the black salt for good.
Renshu Sze
 Collector, 46 posts
 Businessman
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 03:34
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
Renshu looks about. He doesn't seem to notice anything. Uncertain of what he meant, he continues. Well, they are calling about the man you pulled from the spirit realms, Greg. It is most disconcerting, I had given him food and water and he vomited both. I'm afraid if the women were attempting to give him his first meal, well, they'll be disappointed.

He takes a sip of tea, sighing contently. Concerning your Uncle, we are trapped. If we do as his benefactors wish, we shall be complicit in the death of a city official. If we combat the demons themselves, we may be in over our head.

One may say that killing the police man, as you said, would be the simplest solution. But if he were to die, would that not gain favor for those that are obviously dangerous? Not to mention more would be taking this salt. Perhaps this police man is the one true gem, and his work would undermine them. Would that not be a noble cause?

But to fight them... Master Maeda, we know not where their talons sit. They could be a danger to your mother if we fight. If we strike at them, we may not even fear bloodshed. Perhaps they tickle the ear of a bureaucrat, and have you and your family deported. They burn my shop, or even kill those we love.

The truth is, we should strike at their heart, cripple them. The Virgilios are not as enemies we read about in Western stories. They have contacts, money, and influence. We should find out more about them.


Maeda could inquire into his unconcerned response to his comment about lack of webs.

Maeda could turn the conversation more to the black salt, perhaps find a means to discern what it is. Renshu is a scholar of the mind after all...

Maeda could also speak to him about contacts to find out more.
Maeda Shichiroji
 player, 373 posts
 Futsu Nushi No Kami
 Fire Sword of Ascendancy
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 19:20
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
This is not what Shichiroji wanted to hear; for once, can't his problems have an easy solution? He sighs and finishes the cup of tea in silence.

Renshu-san, I never thought about killing a police officer. I wanted to deal with Ojii-san's boss. Though I understand your points about the harm that could come to us

Shichiroji broods over his empty cup. How can we find out more about these Viriligos? Who would know?

But I also had an idea Renshu San. Is it possible to destroy the "demon" part of Ojii-san's soul, like I told you about? He struggles to describe what he means by that, but he is sure that Renshu understands most of it. Along with destroying the black salt, maybe that would end its hold over Ojii-san.

And the spiderwebs... He points to where he sees them, an uncomfortable amount of places. There, there, there....ne, come to think of it, they are also in the bakery and you know she runs a clean shop....
Renshu Sze
 Collector, 47 posts
 Businessman
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 06:11
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
He looks into the spaces, following Shichiroji's guiding finger. I fear I cannot see what you do, Master Maeda. However, I do not doubt that you see. Hmm...

Renshu puts down his tea and wanders to his collection of books and scrolls. Tsuchigumo, hmm, this is curious. An earth spider, yōkai, the name apparently originally belonging to an old, cave-dwelling clan ages ago. Oh, interesting, very interesting. When I was growing up my mother had a carving of a spider over her door, they were considered signs of good luck!

He smiled brightly. If spider spirits wish to make their home here, they may. Please do not step on any, Master Shichiroji! I would hate to see calamity befall us at this critical time. Ah, where did I put my... yes, my tea!

He returns to his tea after handing Shichiroji the open book regarding the somewhat infamous Tsuchigumo. When he glances at the book, the characters on the page suit themselves to his mind, becoming legible. Being that yōkai are of multitudinous variety...

<Wits+Occult> <1 success>

He would recall fairly little. Spiders in Japanese lore are not considered particularly lucky, and spider yōkai have little day-to-day influence even on a cultural level. Tsuchigumo only triggers from the tale of the shape-shifting creature that had caused a commander named Minamoto no Yorimitsu to suffer malaria. After causing Tsuchigumo to change from man to spider, they chased it down and killed it. Yōkai are often prone to mischief, however, so any intention the spirit lurking around is totally unknown... but to conclude it's good luck might be foolhardy.

That's when his attention would be drawn to a small spider coming down from the ceiling...

This message was last edited by the player at 18:03, Sat 20 Apr.

Tsuchigumo
 NPC, 1 post
 Spinning
 Silk
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 18:47
Re: Scrolls of Maeda Shichiroji
It stops out of striking range, approximately the size of an American silver dollar. Its body is covered with a gentle while hair, the two pedipalp on its face moving rhythmically. It has very large eyes for a spider its size.

It spins for a moment in the air, Renshu starting to cobble together a striking implement out of old newspapers. As it does so, Shichiroji senses there's more here than meets the eye. The essence of a spirit hangs upon a literal thread. It speaks with the voice of a woman, though made diminutive.

Maeda no Shichiroji, you should not believe everything you read. Forgive our interruption, but we were told to seek you. We hope you don't mind us keeping our distance. Nihonjin are known amongst many spirits for their fearlessness toward our kind...

Renshu Sze slowly puts away his rolled up newspaper. We have come to offer a boon, in return for your service. We know of a woman coming, Susan Moore. We humbly ask for her death in exchange for a boon. Your father's fortune could return ten-fold. Or perhaps your mother's life could be restored in full... your maybe your own.

The spider drops a few hand spans. Or we can talk. Intelligent humans have a love of details... this we know.