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Zero Suit Ridley
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo




In the years after Bayushi Shoju became Shoju I, Emperor of Rokugan, many things changed, and many remained the same. The Clans were reordered and reorganized, and while there was peace between Great Clans, the commoners knew the depredations of bandits, ronin, and other, worse threats. Shoju I, with his Bloodsword, Ambition, by his side, became paranoid, and formed a force of secret informants and spies to monitor his Empire for traitors, conspirators, and malcontents. I, Miya Shouko, witnessed with my own eyes the suffering of the people during this period, for it was during this time that I came of age and travelled the land as one of the Miya Heralds.



In the dark corners of the Empire, the shadowy cults of maho-tsukai began to move again, taking advantage of the chaos and confusion of the era. While the eyes of the Empire were elsewhere, they hoped to make their move. But there were still those who hunted the shadows, even in the worst of times…


-Excerpts from the introduction of The Scorpion Emperor: A History, by Miya Shouko.

It’s winter. Cold, dark, harsh. The lands of the Phoenix, which most consider safe from the ravages of maho-tsukai, are particularly dangerous—it’s easy to become lost in the many forests of this region, which have their own dangers even at the best of times—and hunting a renegade maho-tsukai is hardly what any sane individual would consider the best of times.

Each of you is here for reasons of your own, and yet, you have come together in common goal—hunt and slay those who would abuse the power of blood magic. After finding your skills complemented each other well while jointly tracking a tsukai you’d each come upon individually previously, you’ve teamed up to hunt this one…

The problem being, aside from the fact that you’re sure you’re on the trail of a maho-tsukai, you have no idea what the individual in question looks like. All you know is that, in the last village he—or she--stopped in, there was a trail of corpses, raised with foul magic, and the tsukai managed to escape barely ahead of your pursuit.

Now, you are in a rustic village, deep in the woods of the Phoenix Clan lands, and your hunt begins anew…

Zero Suit Ridley fucked around with this message at Jun 23, 2013 around 02:53

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Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

Let's get serious!!


Hida Basho


Hida Basho shakes the snow out of his cloak, his breath steaming in the cold air as he regards the village ahead of them. This time he has his armor on, a discomfort he is willing to ignore, especially after what awaited them in the last village. Still, he wonders how armor manages to be too hot in the summer, yet too cold in the winter, no matter what one does. His hand unconsciously brushes the jade tetsubo hanging under the cloak. He frowns, and turns his good eye towards one of his companions.

"Oso-san. What do you make of it? Is this another village of the damned, a trap laid by this madman?"

That last one had been an exercise in frustration. The walking dead and hungry ghosts seemed to have a special taste for Basho, and there was little satisfaction to be had in hammering at them until they finally stopped moving. Just a great deal of hard, messy effort.

pre:
Hida Basho

Clan: Crab
School: Hida Bushi
School Rank: 2
Insight Rank: 2
Insight: 172
Experience: 130/130

Honor: 3
Glory: 1
Infamy: 0
Status: 1
Taint: 0

Air: 3
  Reflexes: 3
  Awareness: 3
  
Earth: 3
  Stamina: 3
  Willpower: 3
  
Fire: 3
  Agility: 3
  Intelligence: 3

Water: 3
  Strength: 3
  Perception: 3
  
Void: 2

Initiative: 5k3
Armor TN: 30 (Base 20, Armor 10, Reduction 8)

Skills
* Athletics 			3	Str		6k3
* Defense 			1	Ref		4k2
* Heavy Weapons (Tetsubo)	5	Agi		8k3
* Iaijutsu 			3	Ref		6k3
* Intimidation 			1	Awa		4k3
* Kenjutsu 			3	Agi		6k3
* Lore (Shadowlands) 		2	Int		5k3
Acting 				1	Awa		4k3
Artisan (Bonsai) 		1	Awa		4k3
Artisan (Poetry) 		1	Awa		4k3
Calligraphy			2	Int		5k3
Courtier			1	Awa		4k3
Hunting				1	Per		4k3
Investigation			3	Per		6k3
Etiquette			1	Awa		4k3
Lore (Ghosts)			1	Int		4k3
Lore (Heraldry)			1	Int		4k3
Sincerity			1	Awa		4k3
Tea Ceremony			1	Voi		3k2

Athletics 3 - No impediments on Moderate Terrain and Difficult terrain
only reduces Water ring by 1.
Heavy Weapons 3 - Reduce opponent reduction rating by 2.
Heavy Weapons 5 - One Free Raise toward use of the Knockdown Maneuver.
Iaijutsu 3 - Readying a katana is a free action.
Kenjutsu 3 - +1k0 to all damage rolls made with a sword.

Advantages
Jade Weapon (Tetsubo)
Large
Strength of the Earth

Disadvantages
Bad Eyesight
Cursed by the Realm (Gaki-do)
Disturbing Countenance

Armor
Heavy Armor (Bonus to Armor TN: +10, Reduction: 5, Special: +5 to TN of Athletics and Stealth)

Weapons
Tetsubo - Atk 10k3, Dmg 8k3, Reduce opponent reduction by 2, One Free Raise to knockdown maneuver
	(Large, DR: 3k3, Jade) 
Tetsubo - Atk 10k3, Dmg 8k3, Reduce opponent reduction by 2, One Free Raise to knockdown maneuver
	(Large, DR: 3k3)
Katana - Atk 6k3, Dmg 7k2
	(Medium, Samurai, DR: 3k2, Special: May spend one Void Point for +1k1 damage)
Wakizashi - Atk 6k3, Dmg 6k2
	(Medium, Samurai, DR: 2k2, Special: Throw up to 20')
Tanto - Atk 3k3, Dmg 4k1
	(Small, DR: 1k1, Special: Throw up to 20')

Techniques
THE WAY OF THE CRAB
The Hida bushi is the epitome of ‘heavy infantry,’ able to endure harsh blows and 
deliver crushing attacks in return. You may ignore TN penalties for wearing heavy 
armor for all skills except Stealth. When using a Heavy Weapon, you gain a bonus 
of +1k0 to the total of all damage rolls.

THE MOUNTAIN DOES NOT MOVE
The Hida bushi is famous for extraordinary tenacity, weathering wounds that would 
kill normal men. You gain Reduction equal to your Earth Ring.

Inventory
Jade Tetsubo, Tetsubo, Daisho, Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing,
Writing Box, Small Back Banner, 2 Pillow Books, Small Folding
Stool, Journal, Kiseru, Metal Lantern with 3 Flasks of Oil,
4 Kubi Bukuro, Lucky Cricket, 4 Fingers of Jade
Traveling Pack (Bonsai tools, spare kimono and sandals, straw cloak, 
tea set, week's rations, wide-brimmed straw hat, 50' rope, grappling
hook, chop sticks, ink brush kit, blanket), Tanto, 1 Koku

Wounds
Healthy (+0)		Nicked (+0)	Grazed (+2)	Hurt (+7)
OOOOO OOOOO OOOOO	OOOOOO		OOOOOO		OOOOOO

Injured (+12)	Crippled (+17)	Down (+37)	Out (-)
OOOOOO		OOOOOO		OOOOOO		OOOOOO

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Jun 30, 2013 around 04:23

neongrey
Feb 28, 2007



Moto Makoto

There are ways to beat the cold without calling on one's temperamental relationship with the kami of fire. Makoto has selected one of the easiest: as he trudges beside his laden horse, he has a heavy jug of sake close to hand. He's not drunk, not really, but he's got enough in him to feel a pleasant warmth down to his toes, far better than his heavy winter clothes can accomplish.

He stares at the village ahead, eyes narrowed, then turns his head toward the Kitsuki when the Crab voices the question. He wants to hear the answer, too. He handles things in a rough enough manner that a thinking man's opinion is a novel thing indeed.

pre:
Name: Moto Makoto		Rank: 2
Clan: Unicorn			Experience: 0/110
School:	Iuchi Shugenja		Insight: 167	

Earth: 3	Air : 2		Honor: 	5.4
				Glory: 	1  
Sta: 3		Ref: 2		Infamy:	0   		
Wil: 3		Awa: 2 		Status:	1  
				Taint: 	0  
Water: 3	Fire: 3

Str: 3		Agi: 3
Per: 3		Int: 3
	
	Void: 3
			Wounds
Initiative: 4k2		Healthy  (+ 0): 15
Armor:ashigaru		Nicked   (+ 6): 21
TN: 22+	3		Grazed   (+ 6): 27
Reduction: 1		Hurt     (+ 6): 33
Healing Rate: 		Injured  (+ 6): 39
			Crippled (+ 6): 45
			Down     (+ 6): 51
			Out           : 57

Skill			Rank	Trait	Emphasis

Skill			Rank	Trait	Emphasis

Calligraphy		1	Int	Cipher
Lore (Theology)		1	Int
Lore (Maho)		1	Int
Lore (Shadowlands)	1	Int
Meditation		3	Void			Mastery: Restore 2 Void points on meditation
Spellcraft		5	Int	Importune	Mastery: +1k0 on all spellcasting rolls
Medicine		2	Int
Investigation		2	Per

Athletics		2	Str
Battle			1	Per
Horsemanship		2	Agi
Defense			1	Agi
Polearms		3	Agi		Mastery: +5 to initiative first round, if using a polearm

Stealth			2	Agi

Advantage				Points    
Friend of the Elements (water)		3		ACTUALLY SUCKS
Ishiken-Do				8		Cast Void spells

Disadvantage				Points

Lost Love				3		Brings it to 11 points, still only spending 10.
Lechery					2
Compulsion (drinkin')			2
Failure of Bushido (courtesy)		4


Techniques

Spirit of the Wind: As a complex action, sacrifice 1 spell slot to grant 1 target individual an additional simple move action.
Also, free raise on all spells with the Travel keyword.

Weapon		Attack	Damage	Notes


Outfit: Extravagant Clothing (the sleeves of which shall only be used for dramatic effect), Wakizashi,
 some sort of polearm (bisento),Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, Horse (Unicorn riding horse),
 a yurt, an unhealthy amount of sake, a few pillow books(the contents of which 
will not be
 discussed), assorted odds and ends (fishin' stuff, sweets from wherever he has been to most
 recently (not a euphemism), couple
kiseru and
 stuff to smoke in them), a cool straw hat, ashigaru armour, 2 jade fingers, probably around 40 koku

Spells:

Affinity:   Water
Deficiency: Fire

Sense,
Commune
Summon

Water
-----
1:	Path to Inner Peace

2: 	Rejeuvenating Vapours
2:	Inari's Blessing

3:	Walking Upon the Waves
3:	Strike of the Tsunami

Earth
-----
1:	Jade Strike
1:	Minor Binding

Air
---
1:	To Seek the Truth

Void
----

1:	Sense Void

neongrey fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2013 around 03:48

zachol
Feb 13, 2009


Yoritomo Nanami



Nanami gazes into the village, thinking about the Crab's question. She doesn't particularly mind the cold. It's nice, making her feel distant and safe from the seas. Solid, reliable ground here.
A monster or two might be nice, to confirm they are on the right track, though she's not looking forward to a repeat of the last village. Really, though, up to the grim Dragon to make the final call.

Her mind wanders. For a moment, the idea of a pond, covered in snow and hiding ice thin enough to fall through but thick enough to keep her under slips into her mind. Hopefully can avoid anything like that.

pre:
Yoritomo Nanami
Clan Mantis (Yoritomo)
School Yoritomo Bushi
Insight 155 (Rank 2)
XP 97

Honor 3.5
Glory 1
Status 1

Air 2                  Earth 3
Ref 3     Awa 2        Sta 3     Wil 3
Fire 2                 Water 3
Agi 3     Int 2        Str 3     Per 3
Void 3

Init 5k3
Armor TN 25 (-3 reduction)
Wounds 15/6/6/6/6/6/6

Attack
Katana 8k3, DR 7k2 (emph, +1k1 for VP)
Kama 6k3, DR 3k2 (emph)

Techniques
The Way of the Mantis - No penalties to movement or attacks 
  for rough or uneven terrain. Don't lose Glory or Honor for
  using improvised or Peasant weapons. No penalties for fighting
  with a Small or Medium Peasant weapon in the off hand. 
  +1k0 to all attack rolls. 
Voice of the Storm - A melee hit reduces an opponent's 
  Armor TN by 5 against your attacks for 2 Rounds. Stacks up to 2 
  times (School Rank), duration resets with each application. 

Skills
Athletics (Str) 2 (5k3)
 - Moderate terrain no longer impedes movement
 - Movement across Difficult terrain reduces Water Ring by only 1
 - +5 TN from armor
Commerce (Int) 1 (3k2)
Defense (Ref) 3 (6k3)
 - Can retain the result if Full Defense is maintained
Etiquette (Awa) 1 (2k2)
 - -1k0 from Antisocial
Hunting (Per) 1 (4k3)
Iaijutsu (Ref) 1 (3k2)
Investigation (Per) 3 (6k3)
 - +1k1 to notice an ambush from Wary
Jiujutsu (improv) (Agi) 2 (6k3)
 - +1k0 attack from Technique
Kenjutsu (katana) (Agi) 4 (8k3)
 - +1k0 attack from Technique
 - +1k0 sword damage
Knives (kama) (Agi) 2 (6k3)
 - +1k0 attack from Technique
Lore (shadowlands) (Int) 1 (3k2)
Medicine (Int) 1 (3k2)
Meditation (Void) 1 (4k3)
Sailing (Agi/Int) 1 (4k3/3k2)

-1k0 Social skills from Antisocial
+5 TN to Stealth from Armor

Advantages
Absolute Direction (Always know which way is north)
Crab Hands (Unskilled weapon rolls made at 1 Rank)
Blood of Osano-Wo (Immune to natural weather conditions, 
  reduce damage from spells employing natural forces by -1k1)
Great Destiny (1/session, when killed from Wounds, 
  reduce to 1 Wounds instead)
Jade Weapon (Jade katana)
Wary (+1k1 Invest (notice) vs Stealth (ambush) to detect an ambush)

Disadvantages
Antisocial (-1k0 to Social skills)
Phobia (drowning) 2 (+10 to TNs when confronted with drowning)
Unlucky 1 (1/session, GM may force a reroll)
Wrath of the Kami (water) (Water school spells get 1 free raise)
  
Equipment
Light Armor (+5 Armor TN, Red 3, +5 Ath and Stealth TN)
Sturdy Clothing
Katana (Sword, Med, Samurai, DR 3k2, VP for +1k1)
Wakizashi (Sword, Med, Samurai, DR 2k2, throw 20')
2 Kama, paired (Knife, Small, Peasant, DR 0k2)
Jade Katana (Sword, Med, Samurai, DR 3k2, VP for +1k1)
Parangu (Sword, Med, Peasant, DR 2k2, breaks from 30 Wound attack)
Han-kyu (Bow, Small, Str +1, range 100', +10 TN from horseback)
 - 15 Willow Leaf arrows (DR 2k2)
Tanto (Knife, Small, DR 1k1)
3 Jade Fingers
Traveling Pack
45 koku

quote:

Changes
20xp
Ref 2 -> 3 [12]
Investigation 2 -> 3 [3]
Kenjutsu 3 -> 4 [4]
1 remaining

Insight 153 -> 155

zachol fucked around with this message at Jun 10, 2013 around 12:31

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Kitsuki Oso

Oso rides alongside the others on his pony, chewing over Hida Basho's question for a moment before he offers his reply. It's a typical question to offer a Kitsuki Investigator, but at the moment there is practically nothing to go on. It's just all too common for people to treat an investigator like an oracle.

"I honestly don't know. The Kitsuki investigative method relies on observations, either of particular details or patterns. If I had the chance to investigate the village, I'd be able to tell you what I believe happened. If we had been on the trail of the maho-tsukai long enough to see how it works, if there was a pattern there then I'd be able to estimate its actions based on that. Personally I hope we kill it long before we see enough of its work to notice the pattern."

Oso looks at the village, glancing from house to house to see if there is anything untoward that he can notice.

"As it is, I can say little more than any of you can yourselves. If it had the time to effect a trap," he says, stressing the if, "And if the situation when they got here made setting a trap possible and potentially effective and if it is both sane and thinking in terms of effectiveness rather than pride in its corrupt abilities to take us head on, then it would make sense for it to lay a trap. However, that is a lot of 'if's. We cannot even be sure it was in this village"

Oso nods towards the grim-faced Kuni Uchi and still-a-bit-grim-faced-but-slightly-less-so Moto Makoto.

"Maybe Makoto-san or Uchi-san have something they will be able to tell us. In some situations a shugenja can do what an investigator can't. For myself, I will ask questions around the village so that I can offer you a real answer instead of all of these 'if's."

pre:
Name: Kitsuki Oso		Rank: 2
Clan: Dragon			Experience: 0
School: Kitsuki Investigator	Insight: 161

Earth:  2	 Air:  3 	Honor:   6.5
  Sta:  2	 Ref:  3	Glory:   1.0
  Wil:  2	 Awa:  3	 Infamy: 0
Water:  3	Fire:  3	Status:  1.0
  Str:  3	 Agi:  3	Taint:   0
  Per:  4	 Int:  3
	Void:  2

Initiative: 5k3	Armor TN: 29	Reduction: 3

Skill		Rank	Trait	Emp		Roll
Artisan(Bonsai)	1	Awa			6k3
Athletics	1	Str			3k2
Battle		1	Per			5k4
Calligraphy	1	Int			4k3
Courtier	3	Awa			6k3
Defense		1	Ref			4k3
Divination	1	Int			4k3
Etiquette	3	Awa	Courtesy	6k3
Horsemanship	1	Agi			4k3
Hunting		1	Per			5k4
Iaijutsu	1	Ref			4k3
Investigation	4	Per	Interrogation	8k4
Kenjutsu	3	Agi			6k3
Lore (Law)	1	Int			4k3
Meditation	1	Void			3k2
Sincerity	1	Awa			4k3

Mastery
Courtier - +3 Insight
Etiquette - +3 Insight
Investigation - Second attempt to Search emphasis has no TN increase
Kenjutsu - +1k0 to damage rolls


Advantage                               Points
Clear Thinker				2

Disadvantage				Points
Benten's Curse				3
True Love				3
Sworn Enemy				3

Techniques
Kitsuki's Method
  Perception added to Armour TN 
  Free raise on all Investigation rolls
Wisdom the Wind Brings
  Attempts to lie to, deceive, disarm or feint against Oso are at +5*School Rank TN
  
Weapon		Attack		Damage	Notes
Wakizashi	6k3		6k2		Can be thrown 20’
Wakizashi	6k3		7k2		

Equipment: Traditional Clothing, Wakizashi, Knife, Calligraphy Set, Travelling pack,
Light Armour, Rokugan Pony, Katana, 5 Koku

team overhead smash fucked around with this message at Apr 3, 2013 around 07:00

neongrey
Feb 28, 2007



Moto Makoto

Another swig, then a low grunt. "Fair enough," says Makoto. He runs a hand through his wiry hair, then says, "You want to ask, Kuni-san, or should I? All the same to me who does."

He squints around the village, looking at anything he can tell about the place with his eyes while the matter of the spirits gets settled.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

It's a grim business, this being funny. Every time you come up with a strong satiric idea, the world tops it.


Moto Hamid


Osen nickers, causing Hamid to stop gazing at the trees above and instead focus on the task at hand. He shakes his head, causing the show that has accumulated on his hat to cascade down. He straightens in the saddle and urges Osen closer to the group.

His companions are fascinating and he no doubt will have much to learn from them. Still, perhaps it would be better if they were all a little less...dour. Though Hamid must admit that he was feeling a little dour as well, after the last village.

The last village...Hamid shivers from something other than cold. It had truly been a nightmare and the closest to true evil Hamid had ever seen. Though he feels that he had performed his duty as a Vindicator admirably, the entire business had been disturbing.

As Osen pulls up along Moto Makoto - Hamid had been sticking close to his kinsman - Hamid says out loud, “Surely, it’s won’t be as bad as the last village, yes? In this short of time?”



pre:
Clan: Unicorn

School:       Moto Vindicator
School Rank:  2
Insight Rank: 2
Insight:      155
Experience:   90/90

Honor:  3.5
Glory:  1
Infamy: 0
Status: 1
Taint:  0

Air:   2           Fire: 3
    Ref: 2            Agi: 3
    Awa: 2            Int: 3

 
Earth: 3           Water: 3
    Sta: 3            Str: 3
    Wil: 3            Per: 3
 
Void: 2


Initiative: 4k2
Armor TN: 25 (15 Base, 10 Armor, +5 Reduction Bonus)

Skill                  Rank    Trait    Emphasis/Mastery

Horsemanship            4    Agi    (3) - Use Full Attack on Horseback
Hunting                 2    Per    Survival
Kenjutsu                4    Agi    Scimitar, (3) - 1k0 to damage
Kyujutsu                3    Ref    (3) Stringing Bow is Simple Action
Spears                  1    Agi
Defense                 3    Ref
Meditation              1    Void
Investigation           3    Per    Notice, (3) Search again with no TN incrase
Lore (Shadowlands       2    Int
Lore (Maho)             1    Int
Lore (Nature)           2    Int    Survival
Animal Handling         3    Awa    Horses, (3) Train Domesticated Animals
Medicine                2    Int    Herbalisim
Craft (Fishing)         1   
Athletics               3    Str
Sincerity               2    Int
Divination              1    Int

Advantage                                      Points
Higher Purpose (Defeat the Shadowlands)           3
Kharmic Tie (Ide Juneko)                          1
Hero of the People                                2

Disadvantage                                   Points
Gaijin Name                                       2
True Love (Ide Juneko)                            3
Gullible                                          4

Weapon        Attack        Damage                 Notes
Dai-kyu        5k2            5k2            Willow Leaf arrows
Katana         7k3            6k2
Wakizashi      7k3            5k2
Scimitar       7k3            5k3

Techniques

PURITY OF THE BREATH
At the beginning of each Round, you may choose either 
1) Reduce TN penalties from Wound Ranks by School Rank + Will, or 
2) Add a bonus to Armor TN equal to School Rank + Will.
Against creatures of the Shadowlands, the chosen bonus is doubled.

FACING THE DARK WITHIN
Gain a +2k0 bonus to all Investigation rolls. 
This bonus is increased to +2k1 if attempting to notice effects of the Taint.

Outfit and Equipment

Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho (katana + wakizashi), Osen the Horse,
Traveling Pack (containing: Blanket, Cooking pot, Fishing net,
Flint and tinder, Rope, Straw cloak, Week’s rations, Wide-brimmed straw hat, 
Small knife, Tatami mat.) Finger of Jade



Osen the Horse!

AIR:   2
EARTH: 3     (STAMINA 4)
FIRE:  1     (AGILITY 3)
WATER: 2     (STRENGTH 5)
 
Initiative:  4k2

Attack:      Kick 4k3 (Complex)
Damage:      5k2

Armor TN:    15
Reduction:   3

Wounds:
12: +5; 24: +10; 36: +15; 48: Dead

Skills:
Hunting (Tracking) 4,
Intimidation 2

Special Abilities:
Swift 3.
Huge.

NinjaPete fucked around with this message at Jul 12, 2013 around 13:25

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000





quote:

From the personal journal of Kuni Uchi:

They call us madmen, the Kuni. They do not understand. Seeking the blessing of the unseen, the unknowable while at the same time calling the flesh and bone which carries them through this mortal world unclean. Bushi, brave beyond measure, who quail at the sweat and blood and stuff of life itself. What wisdom is it for a man to hate his own house? The flesh is a cloak, a roof which one must wear for all of life. Perhaps why it is only the Crab who have the wisdom to see that. A crab carries his home with him always, on his back. The Crane must nest, the Lion must den, even the Scorpion must find some hole to crawl in. The Crab is content with himself, and of himself. It is why I serve, and why I will know the secrets of the mortal flesh.

Not all can call the kami to do their will, not many can do this to any real effect even in that shallow and muddied pool. Any man, from the humblest peasant to the greatest lord, can wash and clean a wound if they can look past the petty superstitions and terror that exist only in their minds. I wonder at that. If I fill a basin with water from a pitcher, are the kami of the earth moving the kami of the water from one prison to another? If I put a stone into that basin it overflows, spilling the water. Are the jealous kami of the earth pushing the water away? Perhaps. Were I born a child of Shiba perhaps this would vex me more. Perhaps in my time at court I will find one such and pose them on these great matters. The push and pull between the world of the spirits, I think, is simpler than many would count it. The earth obeys commands, as do the kami. If I draw that stone from the water and let it go, it will fall to the ground. Plants will grow from it, to be harvested. How many of the samurai understand the wonders that they ignore with each day? To voice a poem on the beauty of a cherry blossom and hold the hand that grows it in contempt and the tree from which it comes in ignorance?

That is madness.

My time on the Wall has passed, for now. I have seen much, done much. Samurai touched by hands others would curse as unclean walk that wall today for my efforts. Those that walk no more continued to serve their lord in death, the lore drawn from their unclean flesh adding to the great wisdom of the Kuni house. Madness is to deny that. Still, I know the rituals. Precautions, yes. Face paint of white and black, the skull. The dead think me one of their own. Perhaps they are right. Yet it is the living I love, the living I serve. Scorpion are right to wear their masks, our paint in walking life reminds others of who we are, what we serve. It is our armor.

Nothing is without cost. I hear the spirits of those I have helped, those I have failed to help. The masks I wear posing as the dead cling with me long after the grease stick is washed clean. Voices walk with me, offering advice. Medicine is needed to purge them. Strong medicine. Perhaps I drink too much. It is not for this time, not for this letter.

I am told there is a new Emperor. A Scorpion, it is said. I have neither the time nor inclination for such games of state, yet perhaps I can become drunk on secrets as deeply as I might sochu or the plum brandy which is the only good thing to come from the lands of the Crane, I think. So I continue to serve, for no matter who mounts the Emerald Throne, the threat of the Shadowlands and the children of Fu Leng continues to spread.



Kuni Uchi, like many of his kin, is a tall and lanky man with narrow features that would be considered gaunt in a man not quite so full of life. There is a robustness to the fellow that gives the lie to his dour nature. His hair is perhaps cursed, a natural bushiness causing it to pick up in tufted shocks. He typically wears it pulled back into a tight queue, the better to frame the crimson and white face paint that he typically wears. His dress is simple, black kimonos with red trim and the mon of the Kuni over the heart and, curiously, inside each wrist. He is seldom without his medicine kit, which contains a few more tools in the roll than most, and a tube of papers and spare charcoal.

pre:
Kuni Uchi
Kuni Shugenga (Toritaka Exorcist Path) IR 2
XP: 2

Air
-Reflexes 3
-Awareness 3

Earth
-Stamina 3
-Willpower 4

Fire
-Agility 3
-Intelegence 3

Water
-Strength 3
-Perception 3

Void 2

Skills:
Calligraphy (Cipher) 2
Defense 3
Lore: Shadowlands 2
Lore: Theology 1
Spellcraft 1
Kenjutsu 3

Etiquette 1
Lore: Maho 2
Investigation 2
Medicine 2
Intimidation 1
Sincerity 1
Courtier 1
Lore: Anatomy 1
Jiujutsu 1
Meditation 1

Jade Weapon

Disads
Haunted 
Bad Fortune (Evil Eye)
Failure of Courtesy

Whispers

Honor:2.5
Glory: Whatever
Insight: 167

Outfit: Robes, Light Armor, No-Dachi, Wakizashi, Knife, Scroll Satchel, charcoal and paper, pen and ink, 3 fingers of jade, tatami
mat, a set of small knives and tongs, oilskin gloves, travelling hat, spare kimono and sandals

Affinity/Deficiency: Earth/Air

Technique: Gaze Into Shadow –The Kuni have care-fully studied many of the most sinister opponents 
	imaginable, and have learned how to combat them. You gain a bonus of +1k0 to the total of 
	all Spell Casting Rolls when the target is any non-human creature, and any spell that 
	inflicts damage inflicts an additional +1k1 damage when used against a target who possesses 
	the Shadowlands Taint. You also gain a Free Raise on any spell with the Jade keyword.


Jade Strike (E1)
Whispers of the Land (E2)
Earth Becomes Sky (E2)
Fires of Purity (F1)
Extinguish (F1)
Path to Inner Peace (W1)
By The Light of the Moon (A1)
???
Murmur of Earth (E3)
Kuni Uchi

Uchi sighs. It has come to this once more. Another village of secrets, another village of lies. And they would lie, they always did. It was in seeing what they were lying about that the real truth was found. Uchi cared nothing for the guilt of a man hoarding grain or cheating on a spouse, and they would lie and lie. "Beware, Kitsuki," he says in a curt response. "Beware of the patterns you see. Those who seek maho often find what they seek, those who try to make sense of it often get more understanding than they would like. Beware your mind, man. Ware it very well," and with that he dismounts. No use fighting things on foot, and the pony would follow well enough.

He stalks forward into the village proper. It always started like this. They would see his robes, his armor, his one green eye glittering, and they would know fear. They would see the mask of paint he wore, and they would know the real samurai had come to battle the dark. "We will find them soon enough, there is always sign." With that he heads into the village, trap be damned.

Winson_Paine fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2013 around 02:20

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Kitsuki Oso

Moto Hamid's comment are optimistic, but perhaps a little naive along with it. It probably wouldn't be as bad as last time, but there was no guarantee. Oso is about to point this out when the he realises that perhaps a little optimism could do them all some good. Better that than constant despondency.

"We're following the trail as hard and fast as we can. The closer we get, the less time there will be to prepare foul traps for us."

Oso then listens to what the Uchi has to say, as dark and gloomy as always.

"Well I think that's a no Kuni-san," Oso says to Makoto, "So if you have any magic you think would help us here, you might as well go about it.

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000



Kuni Uchi

"The best magic is a quick wit and a sharp eye," Uchi says not bothering to look back. "Trust yourself, not the kami. They can be brought to heel but have no love for men or their ways."

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Kitsuki Oso

Ono has no problem with what Uchi says. Although he appreciates the disparate talents of the entire group, he values his own training in logic, evidence and intelligence above all. Yet at the same time it's a bit strange to hear those words coming from a shugenja and Oso can't help but bring it up.

"The best magic is a quick wit and a sharp eye. Hmm. I'll remind you of that the next time you go to Jade Strike someone."

neongrey
Feb 28, 2007



Moto Makoto

Makoto caps the jug. He'll want his head to stay clear, then. He makes a low grunt, then shakes his head a few times to ward off the sake haze. His hair swiftly loses the faint smoothing he'd just given it earlier. "They may not, but it's not like they like these..." he stops short of using the word 'people', then shrugs. "Worth asking, anyway. Nothing that says you can't wit your way around whatever you get out of 'em. Lemme fish out my scrolls when we stop and I'll see if they saw anything before we got here."

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000



Kuni Uchi

This actually gets a look from the Kuni. "I would expect you of all people to understand. Your courts will not trust the evidence of the kami or the spirits, yet you would stake all your faith in such unreliable tools?" He shakes his head. "No. Your blade is a tool, so is your armor. Yet an axe will cut a tree down faster, and to swim in armor is to court death." He looks to the Moto, "I wish you joy of your conversations with them. I find little enough in it."

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

Let's get serious!!


Hida Basho

Basho nods to the Kistuki. "I understand your technique is not magic, but you do pick up on things the rest of us miss." He looks around, trying to spot an inn or tea house. Those are always good places to start when coming unannounced to a strange village - it's the one place they can be sure to find someone, no matter the weather or time. He rubs at the old tsuba a kind artisan had made to cover his ravaged eye. "A shorter time may well be worse. The tsukai could well be in the midst of his work. Better to arrive early or late in such a case. It is not work anyone sane would desire to see."

The big Hida gets moving again, into the village, keeping his eye open for anyone out and about who they can speak to.

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Kitsuki Oso

After Uchi's speech, Oso is deliberating over how much to explain. He prefers people to be knowledgeable and reasoned, which is seems the Kuni mostly is already, but to give away the secrets of your school is forbidden. He settle for a compromise.

"I agree with the general sentiment whole heartedly Uchi-san," he says truthfully, "It is just some of the specifics. A quick wit and sharp eye aren't the best magic; magic is the best magic. I'd prefer the former to the latter, but there is nothing supernatural about them. Once you've had certain training you can simply see things or make connections which occasionally seem to others who've had different training to be magical."

"Having said that, shugenjas are most useful and can do things that no amount of investigation can match. I would be remiss to not try and ask for their magic when there are two right next to me."

Dismounting his pony, Oso heads with the others to find the inn if there is one. He'll want to speak to the village headman as well, but that can wait until his horse has been seen to and he's got a general feel for the village.

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000



Kuni Uchi

"Look at the clouds and tell me the truth of what lays in men's hearts, or listen to the crash of surf on the beach or the crackle of a burning house and ask them what the harvest will be like. You will have as much good luck of it as asking the kami themselves. It is as with people, because one can speak to them does not mean they have any sense or reason," he snorts. The idea of trusting to the wisdom in those things. "All men speak to them, in their way. The humble peasant working his patch of land is speaking to the earth kami in his toil that they might better push the rice from the earth. The eta burning a corpse after a battle speaks to the fire kami that they might purge any taint from the bones. The only difference is the Moto and I do not beg, do not ask. We demand." His eyes blaze for a moment at the thought. "And in that demanding some needs may be served, but know the kami are capricious and care nothing for men. The crop will fail, the eta will burn in his own pyre, and the demands of one such as I can be twisted. They do not like the taste of the lash," he finishes, "but they respect it. That is enough."

With a grunt, he turns. "We have wasted enough time in lessons best left for other things. Somewhere the kansen call to a foolish man, and we must end his life. That is enough for now."

zachol
Feb 13, 2009


Nanami glances to the side. These people, always spouting nonsense. She sticks close to the Crab, keeping an eye out for an ambush.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

It's a grim business, this being funny. Every time you come up with a strong satiric idea, the world tops it.


Moto Hamid

Hamid frowns as Uchi turns away again. What the man said was disturbing. He labels the kami as uncaring, but how can that be? The kami are part of what makes the world so beautiful and full of wonder. If they were uncaring as Uchi thinks, then surely the world would be a dark place. If anything it was men that were cruel and uncaring. It was not a kami they were hunting now. It was not a kami who had unleashed horrors in the previous village. It was not a kami who Hamid had sworn vengeance on. These were all men, a simple, greedy men.

He thinks about speaking his thoughts to Uchi, perhaps starting a lively debate, but the words do not make it past his lips. Firstly, Uchi is still frightening to Hamid. Secondly, Uchi is right. They have more important things to do. So, instead of saying anything, he hops off Osen and leads the horse into the village.

Zero Suit Ridley
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Village

As you move deeper into the village, you begin to attract quite a bit of attention. Eventually there's quite a crowd following you, until you arrive at a small river and a bridge crossing it, upon which stands a flustered young samurai in somewhat threadbare clothes, bearing the mon of the Shiba family.

"Honorable guests, I must insist that if you will be passing through, by order of my master, Shiba Dannosuke, I must see your travel papers and know your business here, by my master's orders." He doesn't seem to notice he repeated himself--he's obviously not used to seeing such a varied and grim group of samurai wander into such a small, out of the way holding.

For most of you, travel papers are things you have, granted by Emerald Magistrates by request of your own lords to give you freedom to pursue maho-tsukai and other threats, though you technically need to bring anyone you find to the local magistrates for sentencing and punishment. The individual mandates vary--Kuni Uchi and Hida Basho have the highest amount of official freedom on these matters, Kitsuki Oso closely behind them, and the Yoritomo and Moto being the most limited in authority--Hamid is actually classified as an assistant or yoriki of some sort, and not technically given his own set of papers, due to his unique circumstances.

What that all means is: You have nothing to fear about showing your papers, but you aren't actual magistrates and don't get to run around being judge, jury, and executioner. You're basically bounty hunters, but without the monetary incentive. If there's more questions on the official nature of your duties, I'll clarify.

neongrey
Feb 28, 2007



Moto Makoto

Makoto starts to open his mouth to carry on the conversation when the young Shiba calls for papers. He grunts and sifts through his packs, pausing to rub his horse's nose now and again. Eventually he comes up with his papers, a little more rumpled than most. He smooths them out first then holds him out to the Shiba, then jerks his free thumb over to Hamid. "Kid's with me," he says roughly.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

Let's get serious!!


Hida Basho

Basho removes a small folio from under his straw cloak, removes his carefully folded papers and presents them to the Phoenix.

"I am Hida Basho, Shiba-san. As for what brings us to this village..." He pauses and looks around meaningfully. "Perhaps we should discuss that in a more private setting."

zachol
Feb 13, 2009


Yoritomo Nanami

Nanami waves her papers, but is otherwise more than happy enough to let the others do the talking. She focuses more on the audience they've gathered, keeping an eye out for, say, hidden weapons or the like.

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000



Kuni Uchi

"We come in pursuit of a maho-tsukai," says the Kuni with all the subtlety of a Kaiu hammer. He produces his papers anyway. "One so vigilant of visitors on the road may have seen a newcomer travel through this place. Is this so?" The papers in his extended hand, his left hand, point all but accusation at the young man.

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Kitsuki Oso

The Shiba isn't the most instantly impressive samurai that Oso has ever met, which makes sense considering the size of the village. You don't put your best and brightest in some out of the way place like this.

Gathering his papers, Oso waits his turn to give them to the young samurai.

"What Kuni-san says is true," says Oso, feeling that they might as well be honest now the cat is out of the bag. "A maho-tsukai may have come through the area, which is something we need to ascertain. I hope that if your duties are especially urgent, you will be able to help us by answering a few questions about the area seeing as we are newcomers here."

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

It's a grim business, this being funny. Every time you come up with a strong satiric idea, the world tops it.


Moto Hamid

When Makoto says his name, Hamid steps forward smartly with a smile. He does his best to look the part of an overeager and inexperienced yoriki hoping to prove himself. He finds this is not difficult, which saddens him slightly.

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000



Kuni Uchi

Teeth grind as this ritual drags onward, Uchi understood the need to check their papers of course but the pandering to social custom while the kansen did their evil all but made Uchi boil with rage. He soothes his mind with an old ritual, cataloging the bones and muscle of the samurai before him. Each sinew, each scrap of flesh, he has seen these, held them, examined them. He would understand the ways of man, and if he could find the part of a man that controlled the wickedness that drove them to such tainted crimes he would cut it out.

He suspected, long suspected, that it was the heart.

Zero Suit Ridley
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Village

The Shiba's eyes nearly bug out of his head when he hears the word "maho", and he very nearly drops the documents he is in the process of examining. Hastily returning your papers, he stammers out a reply.

"Maho--no, there's no maho here! These are the lands of the Phoenix! Nobody new has come to town but you!"

You are absolutely certain the tsukai's trail lead to this village.

The various spectating peasants have also reacted to the declaration with varying degrees of shock and fear--several of them depart straight away, making for their homes to shut themselves up in safety.

Finally, the Shiba recovers his equilibrium.

"What questions would you ask? And quickly, for I must make a full report to my lord, under these circumstances."

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Kitsuki Oso

"Thank you for your offer of help," says Oso formally and calmly, hoping that something of his tone will rub off on the panic-stricken samurai.

Keeping his voice slow and steady so as to give the man time to answer without rushing his answers, Oso slowly works through a list of the most obvious questions.

"You say that no-one has passed through the village? Are you certain of this? No travellers, no samurai, no merchants? No honoured guests visiting your lord? No-one at all?"

"Who else would have been in a position to see any travellers? A lone samurai cannot watch an entire village day or night."

"Who is of note in the village and where can we speak with them. By this, I also include peasants. A maho-tsukai need not only lurk in the midst of samurai. I trust the peasants have a headman? They would be a good start but let us know of any others."

"Are there any abandoned buildings? Caves? Any sort of shelter nearby that someone who didn't want to be seen might use to lay low?"

"Have you noticed anything strange recently? Even if you haven't seen anyone, have strange presences been felt, unusual omen been seen or any form of unusual violence?"

While he speaks he makes careful note of not just what the Shiba says but also how.

Inv/Per to spot lies. Free raise makes it an effective score of 30. If the Shiba lies it's 40 thanks to school rank 2.

<foxxbot> Overhead, 1 9 6 7 3 3 1 3
<Overhead> That wasn't for Katanobu, which explains the lack of 10s
<Overhead> !r 9+6+7+3
<foxxbot> Overhead, 9+6+7+3 = 25

team overhead smash fucked around with this message at Apr 8, 2013 around 00:22

neongrey
Feb 28, 2007



Moto Makoto

Makoto idly scratches himself as he lets the Kitsuki handle the questions. He finds himself appreciating having someone around who can handle the questions with such deftness. The Kuni may piss on the spirits, but for Makoto they were often the only way he had of getting a straight answer that didn't involve him getting run out of town with a broom.

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000



Kuni Uchi

Good. The boy knew his place. Since they seem to have been accepted for what they were and what they do, he snatches the scroll back and tucks it into his kimono. He stalks past the child, the Kitsuki was likely good enough at his trade to extract anything he might need from the child before something occurs to him. He fixes the lad with an unblinking eye. "No one new?" It is almost a hiss. "Has anyone returned from travels away recently? Speak true, for you know the gravity of what we seek."

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

It's a grim business, this being funny. Every time you come up with a strong satiric idea, the world tops it.


Moto Hamid

Well, so much for a casual entrance, Hamid thinks to himself. But he supposed it might pressure the tsukai into acting, and thus revealing himself before the group. Assuming that the tsukai's opening action did not kill everyone, it could be beneficial. As the villagers around them react Hamid keep an eye out for anyone who seems to react oddly.

Investigation to see if I can spot someone who is not reacting with surprise or fear. School gives me a 2k0 to Inv rolls.

NinjaPete - !r 1d10#8
foxxbot - NinjaPete, 5 1 10 5 4 10 8 9
neon|laptop - and your dude seems to have a dim view of magic in the first place
WinsonPaine - no he likes magic
NinjaPete - !r 1d10#2
WinsonPaine - in the same way a carpenter likes a hammer
foxxbot - NinjaPete, 7 6


17+16+9= 42

zachol
Feb 13, 2009


Nanami stands awkwardly, confused. Now the villagers were all scattering, panicking. How would they be able to distinguish them from the maho?
Oh, wait. The villagers would be predictable, and the maho suspiciously... unsuspicious? Is that how it works? That seems fiendishly clever.
She frowns. Hopefully that's it.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

Let's get serious!!


Hida Basho

Basho sighs, watching the village descend rapidly into near panic. Accepting his papers back and carefully putting them away, he lets his eye wander across the crowd. He leans over to speak quietly to Hamid and Nanami. "Perhaps while they are questioning the Shiba, we should make for the inn. Or, ask the villagers if there are any abandoned residences or buildings near here."

zachol
Feb 13, 2009


Yoritomo Nanami

Nanami glances at Basho, still a little nervous, and nods slowly.
"Yes, alright. Will keep an eye out for anything... unsuspicious."
She accompanies him to the inn, looking for disused or unkept buildings.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

It's a grim business, this being funny. Every time you come up with a strong satiric idea, the world tops it.


Moto Hamid

"The inn sounds good," Hamid says, eyes still on the crowd. He reaches back and gathers Osen's reins in his hand follows Nanami.

neongrey
Feb 28, 2007



Moto Makoto

"Eh, I'll head along too," says Makoto, rolling his shoulders a little. "Let me do that consultation we were talking about, eh." He half-turns to his horse, giving the lead a tug. "Come on, girl."

He casually sweeps his gaze around the scattering crowd, both looking for anyone suspicious, and for anyone particularly attractive.

Zero Suit Ridley
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Oso

The young Shiba looks overwhelmed by the barrage of questions, and does his best to answer them. "No, I am certain there is no one else who has come through--this is a very small village, as you may note! And the peasants are very good at getting me if someone is passing through! Who is of note? Why, myself, and I suppose the headman--why would you doubt my word, though, enough to go speaking to a peasant about it when I can assure you that I've seen no strangers in town? We are, if you'll note, in a forest, and I suppose if someone wanted to lay low they could do so, but the peasants are frequently out hunt and harvesting lumber, so any one of them might have stumbled across a traveler who doesn't know the paths through the woods the way they do. This is absurd!"

The Inn

The inn is rustic and simple. A little bit spare, perhaps, and certainly not furnished to accommodate more than one or two samurai at a time, and low-ranking ones at that. A peasant--the innkeeper, almost certainly--rushes to bow before the group as you arrive.

Hamid doesn't notice anyone acting as if this is a normal situation.

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000



Kuni Uchi

Uchi heads into the inn, scowling. "Tradesman," he says to the innkeeper. "Have you had any recent guests? Who has come through here of note?"

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

It's a grim business, this being funny. Every time you come up with a strong satiric idea, the world tops it.


Moto Hamid

"Good day," Hamid says to the Innkeeper. "We will need a table, we also have a few horses, do you know of a stable.."

He trails off as he hears Uchi approaching. Hamid keeps silent as the Kuni growls at the peasant.

"I take it the young samurai out front was not helpful?" Hamid asks Uchi in a low voice when he is done.

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neongrey
Feb 28, 2007



Moto Makoto

Makoto rolls his shoulders, then says to the innkeeper, "I'm gonna need a place and feed for my horse, then I'm gonna need a quite place for a few minutes, then I'm gonna need a drink, doesn't gotta be your best, just something nobody's pissed in. In that order."

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