Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare.   Posted by Iweko the first.Group: 0
Iweko the first
 GM, 14 posts
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 23:34
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Salt spray lashed the faces of all on deck, wave after wave slamming into the Kobune. Any craft built by a crane, or even the crab, would have capsized long ago. But the mantis ruled the waves. Again and again lightning struck nearby, but still Yoritomo Kanue clung to the rigging with one hand, a single leg wrapped around a pole jutting from midway up the mast. "Keep'er near the rocks, we don't want to spook 'em 'fore we hit 'em." Another minute passed, and then the call went up, the prey was in sight. A phoenix ship, fat with cargo headed towards the crab lands. But it would never reach its destination, and then the crab would have to buy their scroll paper from the mantis, who would happen to have a cargo bay full of it...
A humming bulb's scream signified that the assault had begun. The poor other ship has stuck close to shore, hoping to wait out the storm, but this had left them without an escape from an altogether more deadly sort of thunder.

As the jade sun rose above the waves, Kanue smiled at his newfound bounty. The rival kobune had suffered some minor damage as the inept phoenix captain had piloted it into some rocks trying to run, but it was nothing that couldn't be fixed. Or, his nephew had come into his own with a ship somewhat recently, and if he scuppered this vessel it would provide useful material to patch up Ichiro's new ship. It would also give him a chance to see the boy off, before the second storms commander sent him off to deliver the "cargo".

It was almost nightfall when the last of the crates were loaded onto the kobune, his nephew sweating with the exertion of it. Thinking about it, Kanue felt no small amounts of soreness in his own knees and elbows, perhaps a sign that his swinging-across-the-bow days were near an end. He dismissed it however, and instead passed Yoritomo Ichiro a scroll case, sealed tight. "Now remember, unmarked crates to the crane, marked one to the lion, unopened, and this to the tortoise. I know its not going to be an easy task, but it needs to be done, and we're trusting you lot. There's a seal on that lion crate, wax and something special. Its tapered with, it wont be pleasant, I assure you. Try and keep the lion on our side. We haven't got a quarrel with them, least not any more than usual, and we may end up needing their help should the Unicorn keep up their whole "Khan for shogun" business. I may not care about who wears the fancy hat on land, but i'll give you one guess as to who gets preferential trade should the unicorn end up on the throne. stay safe nephew. anything you or your crew need to know. 'fore you set off?"
Yoritomo Ichiro
 player, 7 posts
Thu 24 Aug 2017
at 01:37
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Ichiro, as Captain of the Kobune "Big Turtle", had been forced to content himself with acting as the anvil to his Uncle's hammer, covering the escape route up the coast to prevent their quarry from slipping away. It had proved to be a mostly quiet assignment, and as they had rounded the cove they had discovered that the ponderous Phoenix vessel had already laid down their arms.

Now, in between supervising the heimin in the selection of the most promising timber, he listened to his Uncle Kanue attentively as the work proceeded behind him. His sweat was still mixed with the spray of the crashing waves, and caught in the faint orange/red light of the setting sun.

"We'll get it done Uncle" he assured the older man with a familial bow. "And quickly!" He added with a laugh and a smile as he gestured to the marked crate with one hand, the deck still undulating beneath his feet. He watched the last of the marked beams get hoisted by the sailors, stripped to the waist and flushed from their work, before he turned to say his farewells.

"I'll send word when it's done, in the mean time enjoy your haul! I'll see you back at home before you know it" and with that he lept nimbly across to his own Kobune, and scrambled up the side barefoot onto the upper deck.

The vessel was quickly feeling like his own with every voyage, and with the help of his dedicated heimin carpenter Goro, the old pirate vessel that he had captured had been given a second lease on life.

It was of a smaller design, fast, with a shallow draft and superior handling...the sub deck had required the most work, and his crew was far happier now that they could work without water up to their ankles. The fully enclosed "first deck" had been in far better shape, and now contained a small room for him and the others of his caste to bed down in for the night, and to have a little privacy. To top it all off the open "second deck" would now has fresh railing for the boarding and firing platforms,leaving her looking new and trim.

Her defining feature was the bow of course, with it's large painted smiling turtle head carving. Matched with the carved "claws" of the two foremost beams and a sun shade on the upper most deck sewn to resemble a great green and black shell, it always drew attention and smiles when pulling into port.

"Alright!, let's find a place to sleep while we still have light to sail by. Bring her out to the South and watch those rocks on our right" he added to the heimin standing by with guard poles as he gestured starboard side.

To the beat of the taiko drum, the oars readied, then dipped in unison as the steady beats echoed among the mossy rocks, bringing the Kobune out into deeper water and ever closer to her next errand.
Tsuruchi Haru
 player, 12 posts
Thu 24 Aug 2017
at 22:28
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Haru smiled slightly as the crew of the kobune leapt to life, men scrambling to obey the orders of 'the little daimyo' as the Mantis often called their captains.  While the 'Big Turtle' was a relatively new addition to the Mantis fleet, its crew were almost all veteran sailors, they knew their duty and did it well.  Still, that did not stop their captain from pacing from bow to stern, ensuring that everyone was diligent in their duties and correcting the crew as necessary.

Unlike Ichiro, Haru did not walk among the men, this was no doubt due to the fact that the Wasp samurai was not the best sailor; besides Ichiro was more than capable of handling matters regarding the actual operations of the vessel.  Haru's place was atop the deck, his sharp eyes scanning the ocean all around them for anything out of the ordinary.
Iweko the first
 GM, 16 posts
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 18:03
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Haru squinted out over the sea, taking in the small islands that dotted the area. Already hours away from mantis ports, it was still at least 3 days from their goal, assuming the wind favoured them at all. It was their isolation, in fact, that was on his mind when he spotted the other kobune. A good distance away, with its sail in rails. The boat appeared to be floating aimlessly, missing any marking.
Tsuruchi Haru
 player, 13 posts
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 19:12
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Haru let out a sharp whistle that cut through the sounds of the busy ship without issue.  Suddenly the flurry of activity that had been precipitated by their departure ceased as everyone turned their attention to the man perched atop the deck.  The crew had served with the Tsuruchi samurai long enough to know what the signal meant, Haru, with his keen eyes had spotted something that he wanted to show the captain.

When Ichiro finally reached him, Haru murmured quietly, deliberately not pointing so as to not draw the crew's attention "There's a kobune out there captain, she looks to be dead in the water.  I don't see any crew on board, and it doesn't look like she has markings of any kind either, so I'm not sure what to make of her."
Yoritomo Ichiro
 player, 8 posts
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 21:59
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Ichiro perked up as he heard the familiar signal, and looked to Haru before he deftly scrambled up the side to join the First Mate on the upper railing.

Once the sharp eyed bounty Hunter had indicated the direction, Ichiro stared at the bobbing vessel for maybe half a minute before he put his hands on his hips and gestured that way. "Good eye, let's see what there is to see mmm?" He decided with a pat on Harus shoulder.

"Adjust course, south and east" he said softly to the pilot as he passed, with another no to the drummer. "Half speed, nice and gentle, like touching a woman for the first time" he winked and rejoined Haru up on the bow as the ship slowly started to come about.
Tsuruchi Dhako
 player, 8 posts
 Wasp
 Shugenja
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 23:55
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
At the vessels fore, nestled with his back against the bowsprit in a kneeling position, Tsuruchi Dhako meditates. With eyes turned inward, he appears utterly oblivious to the chaos around him. He is bare chested, with his hair immaculately placed despite the winds. From his right bicep streams the gold and black striped armband of his Family, a tiny Wasp Mon carved of jade at it's knot. Straddling his hakama clad thighs is a well cared for if plain looking Yumi... the two together presenting the context of Family and Profession: A Hunter of Fugitives and Finder of the lost. A Tsuruchi Bounty Hunter.

No mere Tsuruchi Bounty Hunter though (if such might ever be labeled as mere), Dhako also proudly displays on his left arm a proclamation of The Thunder Dragon's Blessing; A tattoo of the mighty matron of the Mantis, itself carrying a Mantis Mon in one clawed hand, a Wasp Mon in another, and a Fox Mon nestled in it's tail. The tattoo is the essence of his identity-- His Family, His Clan, His Sifu. The first born Tsuruchi Shugenja in recorded history. A seeming contradiction of sorts, who has defied odds and stereotypes to find a synergy of purposes that has pleased all vested parties.

While Tsuruchi Dhako is no stranger to the rudiments of sailing, he wisely remains out from underfoot of the professionals. In need he might assist, but such is not where his talents would be best implemented. Nor does he stand watch alongside his keen eyed cousin, who is surely as gifted as a falcon on wing despite weather conditions.

Instead he focuses inwards, aligning his spirit... awaiting event or portent to inspire an action or need more demanding of his attention than his silent explorations of Ishiken-Do.

The whistle proves impetuous enough, and Dhako rises with fluid ease and strides the deck to witness his cousins vantage first hand,

This message was last edited by the player at 20:12, Sat 26 Aug 2017.

Iweko the first
 GM, 17 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 07:14
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Slowly Ichiro's ship closed the distance, with more detail becoming clear with each meter they drew closer. The Kobune's sails were in rails, completely sagged. The gunwhales had obvious fire damage on them, and nothing stirred. The ship looked abandoned, but who could say if anything was left in its hold. It wasnt very far from a nearby island, so it wouldn't be hard to canabalize it for wood. It was a rocky area too, with plenty of places to hide the ship to come back to it later...
Yoritomo Ichiro
 player, 9 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 13:52
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Ichiro narrowed his eyes and let out a pensive sound as the details of the seeming abandoned hulk became more clear.

"Ugly...but we should at least see if there is anything left to be saved." He admitted. "Could be a trap...so I'll take some of the men, take good care of the Turtle while we are over there yeah?" He asked Haru before he turned and went below to have the men get ready.

Word passed down the benches quickly, and a few of the harder looked men got up to grab an assortment of weapons...mostly some parangu, a few kamas and a some other odds and ends. Others started filling buckets, dunking them off the side on ropes and storing them in special cradles designed for just that purpose. Fire at sea was no joking matter after all.

The Kobune bobbed and drifted slightly as it tried to manuever closer to the wreck, with the sea birds crying and the roar of the tide amongst the rocks, the ruined craft was starting reminder of the perils they faced out here on the waves.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:56, Wed 30 Aug 2017.

Iweko the first
 GM, 19 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 14:26
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
The Big Turtle pulled up alongside the battered ship as men balanced boards, ready to drop them creating bridges between the kobune. As the ship crosses some invisible line, the boards slam into the other kobune, and Ichriro and his boarding party scuttle across, prepared for a fight.
Slowly, over the course of the next 5 minutes, Ichiro and the crew comb the ship, but find only three things of note;
1) The crew is nowhere to be seen. zero signs of life aboard the vessel, none to even indicate it was at any point inhabited. There are enough water casks to sustain twenty men for a long journey, all unopened. Four bags of slat remain untouched, and the nets have obviously never been used.
2) Whatever fire struck the ship, only damaged the outside of the kobune. The inner workings are pristine.
3) The only cargo, if it could even be called that, is a single large turtle, turned on its back, currently struggling to right itself.
Yoritomo Ichiro
 player, 10 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 16:04
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
The entire scene seemed to possess an eerie quality as the men padded across, the scuff and shuffle of bare feet upon the deck the only sound above the natural roar of the sea. At every turn Ichiro seemed to expect an ambush, to find some grisly evidence...but he found nought but the smell of charred wood, the creaking of the beams and the flutter of a scrap of sail.

When he rounded the corner and saw the turtle upon its back, struggling vainly to right itself, his mouth hung open and his features paled. This was not a good omen, indeed, if anything he thought it a message.

The young bushi suddenly felt the need to be off and away from this place, but his practical, some would say greedy nature still sought to gain some sort of benefit from this unsettling scene.

"Take the salt, and the nets...and warn Haru that we could be expecting company..." He ordered briskly before he approached the turtle with every intention of freeing it back into the sea before he left.
Tsuruchi Haru
 player, 14 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 17:48
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Haru watched search unfold, but kept his attention primarily on the ocean around them, as the Mantis vessel was a sitting duck while docked with the other ship.  Glancing at the shugenja next to him, the second mate bows slightly before respectfully addressing him "Dhako-san, if the kami are willing, could you perhaps speak with them and see what happened here?  It seems as though the investigation has turned up nothing." he asked, his tone respectful.  Sailors were a superstitious lot, and the last thing anyone wanted was to offend someone capable of speaking with the spirits...
Tsuruchi Dhako
 player, 9 posts
 Wasp
 Shugenja
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 03:29
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
"Haru-san, you know well that I could" Dhako chides, eyes opening slowly after a few heavy-lidded blinks. Dhako was no Moshi, and his tact more than evidenced this. He was of the earth. Grounded, brash, and decidedly blunt more often than not. With his cousin he felt no need to put on airs. His eyes come into focus, and he turns his head just enough to view the ship. "To what end though? To determine salvage rights? surely our Captain can infer whatever is most convenient. To ensure it's not bait for a trap triggered the moment we hoisted lines across? Such questions would be ill timed now. Concern for the absent crew? Idle curiosity?" Dhako rises, his left hand spinning the Yumi to rest against his spine and his right resting atop the spindle of his ofuda much as any bushi might pose with their hand upon sword handle. "Don't get me wrong, if you want to play at Magistrate, I'll support you... even out here..." Dhako shudders. His place was on the land. His strength stemmed from the Kami of Earth. "Even without mandate, jurisdiction, or levied bounty." He leaves unsaid that such efforts might run contrary to what would be most convenient for the Captain and his Crew... or his mission.
Tsuruchi Haru
 player, 15 posts
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 22:00
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
"Dhako-san, you know I couldn't care less about salvage rights or acting like a Magistrate.  This situation simply seems more than a little odd, and I thought we would best be served by knowing more.  After all, does the Tao not tell us 'In order to choose the correct path, you must know the pitfalls that await you'?"  For a Mantis, Haru had an annoying ability to quote from the Tao.  You couldn't tell it by looking at him, but the samurai was quite religious, attending prayer almost as frequently as his cousin.  Besides, sailors were a superstitious lot, and there was just something about their current situation that didn't sit right with the young Tsuruchi.
Tsuruchi Dhako
 player, 10 posts
 Wasp
 Shugenja
Thu 31 Aug 2017
at 10:28
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
"It takes no Kami to see that our path has already been chosen." Dhako counters, drawing forth his ofuda and tapping it against one of the secured grapnel lines connecting the boats. The Yumi is cradled against the bulkhead, and he slowly unfurls the parchment from its spindle.
Tsuruchi Haru
 player, 16 posts
Fri 1 Sep 2017
at 20:43
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Haru didn't bother trying to argue with his cousin; besides, the priest was already moving to examine the vessel.  Tipping his hand in a gesture of thanks, Haru turned his attention to the salvage operation being carried out by the kobune's crew.  On the captain's orders they were swiftly removing what they could from the stricken vessel and transferring it to the Big Turtle.  After all, there was no point in letting perfectly good supplies go to waste, especially not out here.
Iweko the first
 GM, 23 posts
Sun 3 Sep 2017
at 01:14
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
The last of the stores were brought onto The Big Turtle, and the boards were raised. A man, Kai by name, approached Yoritomo Ichiro, holding the previously upside down reptile. "What do you want to do with this one, captain? He's ain't exactly like the other cargo?"
Yoritomo Ichiro
 player, 11 posts
Sun 3 Sep 2017
at 04:34
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Ichrio looked down at the slowly flailing sea turtle, with its beak agape and its shining black eyes. "We turtles should stick together, let him go, gently...and hopefully he will bring us some luck one day" He cast one last look over his shoulder at the somewhat burned vessel, then moved to follow the sailor in order to watch the turtle return to the sea.
Tsuruchi Dhako
 player, 11 posts
 Wasp
 Shugenja
Sun 3 Sep 2017
at 07:24
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
03:23, Today: Secret Roll: Tsuruchi Dhako rolled 24 using 5d10, keeping the 3 highest rolls with rolls of 9,3,7,8,2.  Water3Rank2
Iweko the first
 GM, 24 posts
Sun 3 Sep 2017
at 15:39
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
After some prayer and meditation, two water kami rose from the sea silently. They began to swirl, and waited for questions
Tsuruchi Dhako
 player, 13 posts
 Wasp
 Shugenja
Tue 5 Sep 2017
at 01:50
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
Tsuruchi Dhako performs the proper greeeting to the Kami, offering them due respect and deference for having heeded his request for commune. Once propriety has been recognized, he does as bidden-- The Kami of Water, being known as excellent sources of visual (if contextless) history are thus asked to convey how the other vessel came to be devoid of it's crew.
Iweko the first
 GM, 26 posts
Tue 5 Sep 2017
at 03:06
Deck of a Kobune, The 10th day of the month of the Hare
the water kami swirled into action, forming a vision before his eyes. There sat the kobune, and The Big Turtle beside it. The image froze, and then the sun began to spin backwards, three times the jade sun set in the east and rose in the west, until it settled over the kobune alone, a few spots of small flame resting at its sides. Then the view shrunk, further and further until this particular kami came to rest in some distant waters. It appears whatever kami inhabited the area prior to this had been banished, with new ones replacing them.