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Forums Terrorist
Dec 8, 2011


Pale Oak Castle, Dragon 815

The day is pleasant and sunny as you stroll through the castle courtyard. Your host, Asako Shizuka, is merely offering hospitality to a group of weary wandering ronin as they fulfill their obligations and pay tribute to the local daimyo. You've been in turn invited to tea with her, as she fulfills her obligations as host. Of course, the real purpose for this meeting is that Shizuka-sama is the most prominent of a significantly large group of Phoenix samurai whose distrust of the Empire grows by the day, and Seppun Tadaka wants to send some feelers out to them. No one would dare to suggest that anyone involved is disloyal to the Emperor, however.



You're led in by attendants, as Shizuka-sama sits before you, flanked by a stern-looking yojimbo. She bows her head gently to each of you in turn, as befits her station. "Greetings to all of you. I trust your journey into those lands the Empress has seen fit to grant us has been peaceful." She waves her hand, and an attendant comes forth with tea, sake and rice cakes. Shizuka-sama takes a cup of tea; her yojimbo pointedly ignores the offering of refreshments and continues to keep a cool eye on you.

OOC Thread: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3660662

I'm aware honorifics are supposed to go on the last name but given that with two Bayushi in the party that would get confusing quick I'm applying it to the given name instead. Also go ahead and mention what gift you're offering!

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PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL




Doji Ineko

quote:


Doji Ineko, Doji Courtier
In the early days of the war, the Restorationists were seen by many within the Crane Clan as mere rebels, upstart peasants with firelances who thought themselves equal. But as time went on, and their pockets became lined with gold, more and more of the Crane began to see prudence in letting things continue as they did. Whether the indirect support of the Crane had any effect upon events, only Heavan can say for sure. But the fact remains that it has colored perceptions, within and without the clan. Sides must be taken, and until very recently, Doji Ineko was among the dwindling number of loyalists, those who saw this as just another trial that Rokugan would endure. She would likely have remained that way until the end of her days, however long they may have been, were it not for two events.

The first was her marriage to a Crab, Yasuki Koji. A slight man with thin hair and a famous love for riches, he had done quite well in recent years, turning every event, every twist of fate into another fortune. From the earliest days of their marriage, he confided in her that he knew the currents were changing, that there was to be a great change, a great upheaval, and that they must move with them, or else be swept away by them. This planted the seeds of doubt in Ineko's head (as did the increasing providence and influence they continued to gain), but it was not until the First Battle of Two Rivers that she was truly ready to listen. The wealth and their early successes could easily be explained away, but for the Restorationists to slay the Empress, under the burning light of a comet, this could not be so easily dismissed.

In the end, it was Ineko's idea to uproot, to move their fledgling family from the rotting corpse of the old Empire, to the shining beacon of Heaven's Will, the City of Two Rivers. Gaijin technology may have made the sword obsolete, but words were a weapon that would never dull. And now that she's here, she will shape this city, meld it, defend it from threats without and within, and prove herself worthy of the greatest title this new Order has to offer her: Crane Champion. She will settle for nothing less.


TL;DR: Doji courtier who switches sides in the interests of profit, following the Divine will, and securing a place for herself and her family among the new Shogunate.

pre:
Personal:
Name: Doji Ineko
Family: Doji
School: Doji Courtier
Honor: 6.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Insight: 134
School Rank: 1
XP: 0

Rings:
Air 2
	Reflexes 2
	Awareness 4
	
Earth 2
	Stamina 2
	Willpower 2
	
Fire 3
	Agility 3
	Intelligence 3
	
Water 2
	Strength 2
	Perception 2
	
Void 2

Skills:
Artisan: Painting 1 (Awareness)
Caligraphy 2 (Intelligence)
Commerce 1 (Intelligence)
Courtier 3 (Awareness)
	Emphasis: Manipulation
	Rank 3: +3 Insight
Defense 1 (Reflexes)
Etiquette 3 (Awareness)
	Emphasis: Courtesy 
	Rank 3: +3 Insight
Kenjutsu 2 (Agility)
Perform: Storytelling 1 (Awareness)
Sincerity 3 (Awareness)
Tea Ceremony 1 (Void)

Techniques:
The Soul of Honor
	Maintain Honor of 6.0 or greater, Free Raise on all Courtier, Sincerity, 
	and Etiquette rolls. Converse with a person for a few minutes and Contested
	Roll Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against Etiquette (Courtesy) / 
	Awareness to learn if they are in need of favors or assistance.
	
Advantages:
Luck 1
	1/session, immediately reroll any one roll.
Precise Memory
	+1k1 to Intelligence to remember things exactly as they are.
Wealthy 2
	+4 Koku, -1 XP cost because of Crane.
	
Disadvantages:
Black Sheep
	No longer welcome in main Doji household, cannot advance in school.
Driven
	To become the Crane Champion of the new Shogunate.
Greedy
	Opponents get +1k1 on Temptation (Bribery) rolls.
Rumormonger
	Willpower 5x highest Glory of rumor target, or must help  spread rumors. 
	Worth 5 for Courtier.
	
Items:
Wakizashi, War Fan, Extravagant Clothing, 
Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 14 koku


Ineko feels quite at home in a Phoenix court, and moves naturally to her place, as the first to present her gift, her own yojimbo close behind. Shizuka-sama would be a great fool to not understand, at least in part, the true meaning of the visit. While none would go so far as to call any of them traitors (to their face, at least), the group's collective involvement with Seppun Tadaka can leave little doubt. And so begins the great game, of saying things without saying them, of speaking in hints and implications.

"We are your humble guests, Asako-sama." Ineko bows low as she presents her gift, an act which chafes her slightly. Soon, others will bow to her this way, but for now she must play her part. "As thanks for your hospitality, I present this simple gift. A cicada, symbol of immortality and spiritual health, carved from the finest emerald." It takes all the willpower that Ineko has to not raise her head to watch Shizuka's expression as the implications of the gift sink in.

Yes, the cicada is a symbol of immortality and spiritual health, but it is also one of rebirth, of realization, of a restoring of the proper order. And with the gift being made out of Emerald? For the right eyes, she might as well have shouted the message from the rooftops.

Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge, Secret Messages: 4d10k3 22

Let's call this either a Courtier or a Sincerity roll, I suppose? Which would be 4k3, either way, unless I'm greatly mistaken.

And I'll be following FT's lead in text, but sticking with the traditional in dialogue, since that's much less abstract.

AusteriDad
Jan 19, 2011

FDR
SAVIOR
OF
CAPITALISM


Suzume Shingen

Shingen looks around the grounds of the Phoenix court, and is silently amazed at their beauty. It is the first time he has stepped outside of Sparrow lands, and the first time stepping foot in a court other than his own. He retains his composure, however, reminding himself that his every step, every movement will be judged not only as his own, but as his clan's.

He bows deeply before Asako, replying "Not one step was out of time in your beauteous lands, though your graciousness in hosting us is a welcome respite."
He then pulls out a small scroll of paper, bowing again as he presents it to the Phoenix woman.
"Please accept this token of my gratitude, a simple story, one told to me by my father, and his father to him in turn."

The story itself is of a boy told by an elder to hunt a stag in the forest, to prove his skill with the bow. The boy spends many days attempting to find this stag, and on the fifth day of searching, finds it in a clearing. He first draws the bow, then, just before releasing, decides to let the beast live. He returns expecting punishment, but instead is rewarded with praise. "The key to archery is knowing when to loose, not how." Shingen waits silently, hoping that such a humble gift would not be insulting to someone of this lady's stature.

TheGrandMystic
Aug 7, 2007


Bayushi Kuroda

pre:
Personal:
Name: Bayushi Kuroda
Family: Bayushi
School: Bayushi Courtier
Honor: 2.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Insight: 136
School Rank: 1
XP: 0

Rings:
Air 3
	Reflexes 3
	Awareness 3
	
Earth 2
	Stamina 2
	Willpower 2
	
Fire 2
	Agility 3
	Intelligence 2
	
Water 2
	Strength 2
	Perception 2
	
Void 2

Skills:
*Artisan: Poetry 1 (Awareness)
*Calligraphy 2 (Intelligence)
*Courtier 3 (Awareness)
	Emphasis: Gossip
	Rank 3: +3 Insight
Defense 1 (Reflexes)
*Etiquette 3 (Awareness)
	Emphasis: Courtesy 
	Rank 3: +3 Insight
Forgery 1 (Agility)
*Investigation 2 (Perception)
Kyujutsu 1 (Reflexes)
Lore: Bushido 1 (Intelligence)
Lore: Heraldry 1 (Intelligence)
*Sincerity 3 (Awareness)
	Emphasis: Deceit
*Temptation 1 (Awareness)

Techniques:
Weakness Is My Strength
	When making Contested Social Roll against someone else, Free Raise given for 
	every three points of Mental or Social Disadvantages person possesses. Free 
	Raise when using Courtier skill to spread gossip and do not need Raise in order
	to conceal self as source of gossip.
	
Advantages:
Clear Thinker
	+1k0 to Contested Rolls against someone attempting to confuse or manipulate Kuroda
Heartless
	+1k0 to resist Courtier, Sincerity, and Temptation rolls where someone is attempting
	to persuade, seduce, or change Kuroda's mind/opinion/etc.
Touch of the Spirit Realms (Meido)
	+2k0 to Contested Rolls versus attempts to manipulate Kuroda in social interactions
	
Disadvantages:
Driven
	To restore the value of tradition to the Empire; to obtain high position in the new
	Shogunate
Haunted
	Haunted by ancestral spirit; -1k1 to roll of GM's choice 1/session if ancestor angry
Lechery
	+1k1 to opponent's Temptation (Seduction) rolls
Obligation (3 points)
	Must give attention to fulfill minor obligation 
	
Items:
Wakizashi, Yumi, Extravagant Clothing, Calligraphy Set, 2 koku
Traveling Pack: Personal seal, makeup kit, spare kimono and sandals, bottle of water, fan, 
parchment and charcoal, tea set, smoking pipe, wicker umbrella, mask
Purchased: Blank book/journal, bowyer's kit, chopsticks, sake cup, small knife, tatami mat, 
furoshiki sack, walking stick, 10 willow leaf arrows
As the two before him present their gifts, Bayushi Kuroda sits quietly with much contemplation occurring behind that mask of his that covers his face beneath the eyes. How amusing it is, Kuroda thinks, that he finds himself in the territory of the Phoenix lands, especially given this talk of peace next to the rumors whispered and bandied about regarding the restlessness of the samurai living within them. Was it not the Asako's scholarly pursuits that had assisted in bringing about the troubles of the Empire of today? Only now, when events are fully in motion and most difficult to halt, do they begin to consider the speed at which so-called progress marched.

When it is his turn, he offers his bow of respect and responds, "Most tranquil, Asako-sama. This one is most humbled to be your guest this day." Like the Sparrow before him, the Scorpion also reveals a scroll to present and offer as a gift, though his is poem rather than story. "In thanks for your graciousness and your hospitality, I present this poem that was passed to me by my father, one inspired by the koi he watched swimming in a close friend's garden pond on a summer's evening."

The tanka Kuroda reads tells of a small creek in winter, frozen and still, whose waters rush with full strength come the summertime. Again winter comes once more and the creek is once again still. In the final line, spring blooms - and the poem abruptly ends without the transition back into summer. While the poem is meant to invoke the cyclical nature of the seasons, it does not sound like it has any particularly deep meaning or secondary message - did he forget to include one? Kuroda awaits the customary gift-giving ritual of refusals before the scroll in which the poem is written upon is passed onward. He sits quietly afterwards while he waits for the next one up to deliver their gift, the eloquence of their deliveries hopefully masking his own.

Poetry: 4k3 11

... and a nice little disaster right out of the gate! Certainly this bodes well for the future - considering my test roll for setting up was a 7, I should maybe even count myself lucky it wasn't worse!

TheGrandMystic fucked around with this message at Sep 15, 2014 around 22:45

Lazy Bear
Feb 1, 2013

Never too lazy to dance with the angels

Kakita Kazuya

The young Kakita that served as the Doji woman's yojimbo lays his own gift beside his Mistress's as she presents hers. The item in question, a large wall-sized fan. Having learned of their intended destination and purpose for the journey a few days before their departure, the Bushi had set to work creating an appropriate gift for their hostess. Having shown no one what was in the long, thin lacquered wooden box previous to today, he only hoped that the gift was not too bold or overstated a message. As he carefully removes the item from its box, he breathes a silent prayer that he does not embarrass his Mistress or any of the other collected members as he unfolds it. Depicted thereupon was the image of a plum orchard, the trees in full bloom. Vibrant and rich dark pink petals scatter in a breeze, their shower falling away from the foremost edge of the fan. The arms of the fan, a clever thought in Kazuya's own mind, are made in a particular way. The main component is a dark, rich walnut, while the outside is sheathed in gleaming brass. "I am afraid my own gift does not carry the same history as my fellows, simply a great esteem for the house of noble Asako-sama." His words are quiet, and understated. He closes the fan, places it back in its box, and backs away with a bow. Once back to his seat, he dares send a glance towards his Mistress. Hopefully, he would gain her approval.

Roll for the painting. I figured everyone seemed to be making some roll or another, thought I'd stretch my artistic muscles. The dice favoured me, luckily.

Lazy Bear fucked around with this message at Sep 16, 2014 around 02:43

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...


Bayushi Aoshi

Aoshi takes in the room: it is much like any other, as far as he can tell, though the coloring is different, as are the decorations. The others seem as passively impressed and content, and thus he supposes it must be a good one. His cousin's poem talks about the change of seasons, the thawing of a river. It must be a good poem if it is to be given as a gift. Rivers do indeed thaw. Perhaps they have eternally blissful weather in the Phoenix lands, and do not know winter? His former classmate's fan did indeed depict an orchard. Could you cool yourself with it? How did one know when these things were good or bad?

After the performance, he bows in turn, his thin black and red domino mask slipping down onto his nose as though they were the glasses of an elderly librarian hunched over an old scroll, giving an even fuller glance of his devastatingly attractive face. Somehow, it does not ruin the piety of the bow. The mask is pushed back up to his eyes with a familiar, gentle motion with the back of his hand as he removes his gift from the sleeves of his light blue robe.

"Our sincerest appreciation for your hospitality, Asako-sama. It means a great deal for you to allow poor travelers such as ourselves into your home. Though this one does not have the eloquence nor grace of his companions, it is hoped that this is not too poor a gift." It is a small, hand-worked figurine of a hare, in red jade with gold accents. No doubt it would coordinate well with the cicada on a shelf somewhere, if the message was not heard. Best to let the bad reminder be delivered by the pretty Scorpion, right?

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at Sep 15, 2014 around 06:13

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Yoritomo Kazewa



Yoritomo Kazewa entered the room last. It was not truly an event without the Mantis nowadays, anyway. Being surrounded by stuff Phoenixes who probably cannot even have the grace to remember why the Mantis did not like them was not one of Kazewa's preferable situations. However, for the sake of duty it is how things are.

Allowing the others to present their gifts first, Kazewa kept readily in mind how appropriate and purely religious this statement he was making as he bowed deeply. He pulled from his sleeve and presented the final gift to his host: A finely sculpted basalt statuette of Osano-Wo, inlaid with brass, with tiny rubies for eyes. Its worksmanship is very definite, and the materials chosen specifically to resonate with the imagery associated with Osano-Wo: Fire and thunder.

"The piety of my host is unquestioned. So it is I offer a hopefully not-too-paltry icon of faith." he intones, deciding to maintain the atmosphere so appropriate here.

Having obligated his host to accept after three offerings, he could not help but feel a little assured of the ramifications of such a gift, especially as they were not particularly relevant to the now, and will hopefully distract his most esteemed host from all the tomfoolery preceding this offering.

Having given the gift, the dashing Mantis withdrew to his place with the others, letting the statement hang upon the air. His stance radiating humility and... piety. After all, once the heavens made their intent known of an action taken by the Phoenix...

pre:
Yoritomo Kazewa

Clan: Mantis
Family: Yoritomo
School: Yoritomo Bushi
School Rank: 1
Insight Rank: 1
Insight: 122
Experience: 0/50

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

Air: 2
  Reflexes: 3
  Awareness: 2
  
Earth: 2
  Stamina: 3
  Willpower: 2
  
Fire: 2
  Agility: 3
  Intelligence: 2

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

Initiative: 4k3
Armor TN: 25

Skills
* Commerce		1	Int	3k2
* Defense		1	Ref	4k3
* Jiujutsu		1	Agi	4k3	Improvised Weapons
* Kenjutsu		1	Agi	4k3
* Knives		3	Agi	6k3	Kama
* Sailing		1	Agi/Int	4k3/3k2
* Teppoudo		1	Int	3k2
Athletics		1	Str	4k3
Artisan: Painting	1	???	???
Battle			1	Per	3k2
Etiquette		1	Awa	3k2
Games: Kemari		1	Agi	4k3
Hunting			1	Per	3k2
Iaijutsu		1	Ref	4k3
Investigation		1	Per	3k2
Kyujutsu		1	Ref	4k3
Lore: Bushido		1	Int	3k2
Lore: Heraldry		1	Int	3k2
Medicine		1	Int	3k2
Perform: Flute		1	Agi	4k3

Knives 3 - Off-hand penalties do not apply when using a knife

Advantages
	Sacred Weapon (Storm Kama): You possess a special weapon created by the master 
weaponsmiths of your Clan, and considered to be an icon of all who bear the mon 
of your Clan. Storm Kama (pair): 2k2 kama; +1k0 to attack rolls when wielding
both. (6)
	Strength of the Earth: In your soul can be found the spirit of the mountains and 
the strength of stone. You can overcome injuries that would cripple other men. 
The TN penalties you suffer from Wound Ranks are reduced by 3. (2)

Disadvantages
	Greedy: Material wealth is more important to you than anything else, even 
though samurai are not meant to be sullied with commercial interests. Opponents 
attempting to use Temptation (Bribery) rolls against you gain a bonus of +1k1 
to the total of the roll. (4)
	Cursed by the Realm (Meido): The ennui of the Realm of Waiting fills your soul. 
When unoccupied by physical activity or social interaction, you tend to lapse into
a trance-like state that causes you to suffer a penalty of -1k0 to all Perception-
based rolls. (4)
	Lechery: Physical pleasure is a weakness of yours, and you spend considerable time 
pursuing it. When an opponent makes a Temptation (Seduction) roll against you, he 
gains a bonus of +1k1 to the total of his roll. (2)

Armor
Light Armour (Bonus to Armor TN: +5 Reduction: 3, Special: +5 to TN of all Athletics and Stealth rolls.

Weapons
Katana - Atk 5k3, Dmg 6k2
	(Medium, Samurai, DR: 3k2, Special: May spend one Void Point for +1k1 damage)
Wakizashi - Atk 5k3, 5k2
	(Medium, Samurai, DR: 2k2, Special: Throw up to 20')
Storm Kama (pair) - Atk 8k3, Dmg 5k2
	(Peasant, Small, DR: 2k2, Special: +1k0 to attack when wielding both; Throw up to
	20')
Teppo - Atk 4k2, Dmg 6k3
	(Large, Samurai, Firearm, DR 3k3, Range: 150', Special: At half range or less, the Teppo ignores
	Reduction from natural toughness.
Unarmed - Atk 5k3, Dmg 3k1
	(Small, DR: 0k1)

Techniques
THE WAY OF THE MANTIS
Mantis bushi learn to fight on the pitching decks of ships and to use anything within reach as a weapon. 
You suffer no penalties to movement or attacks for rough or uneven terrain. You do not lose Glory or Honor 
when using improvised weapons, or weapons with the Peasant keyword, in combat. You suffer no penalties for
fighting with a Small or Medium weapon in your off-hand if that weapon has the Peasant keyword. Finally, 
you gain a bonus of +1k0 to all attack rolls.

Inventory
Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Traveling Pack, Teppo, 1 koku, 1 bu, 4 zeni (formerly 10 koku)

Traveling Pack: Chopsticks, Musical instrument (flute), Sake cup, Small tent, Straw
cloak, Tatami mat, Week's Rations, Whetstone, Wide-brimmed straw hat.

Purchased items:
 Backpack (3 zeni)
 Kubi Bukuro (2 zeni)
 Medicine Kit (1 bu)
 Umbrella (2 bu)
 Ball, Kemari (5 zeni)
 Flint and Steel (1 zeni)
 Rope (50 feet) (250 zeni)
 Small Folding Stool (3 bu)
 Small Knife (5 zeni)
 Daisho Stand (1 koku)

Wounds
Healthy (+0)	Nicked (+0)	Grazed (+2)	Hurt (+7)
OOOOO OOOOO	OO		OO		OO
			OO		OO		OO
Injured (+12)	Crippled (+17)	Down (+37)	Out (-)
OO		OO		OO		OO
OO		OO		OO		OO

Infinite Oregano fucked around with this message at Sep 15, 2014 around 22:22

Forums Terrorist
Dec 8, 2011


Shizuka-sama rejects and accepts each gift in turn with equal appreciation, though from various subtle signs you can tell she appreciates Kuroda and Shingen's gifts the most. "I am glad that our roads eased your journey." She sips her tea gracefully as she changes subject. "I am sure that as ronin you have traveled over many lands..." At these words the various servants seem to vanish. "...and that you are fellow travelers with the disgraced Seppun Tadaka. Truly, a samurai with no master to guide them wanders in dark places. But perhaps my clan requires someone whose only light is their convictions."

"There are some of my number who are dissatisfied with the current Emperor's approach," Shizuka-sama says, as her yojimbo offers sake to you all before pouring some out for himself. "Some even count myself among this number, but that is hearsay. I am a firm advocate for a measured and calm resolution to this Restoration and its associated...unpleasantness. In line with this, I am inviting a selection of fellow Phoenix, as well as a smattering of the less able clans, to discuss matters regarding the City of Two Rivers. The stars have been unclear, and with our borders so close we must be cautious. To face down a storm without shelter is a harsh task, but one that is necessary."

"In the meantime, however, you are welcome to stay and rest."

AusteriDad
Jan 19, 2011

FDR
SAVIOR
OF
CAPITALISM


Shingen

"Thank you very much for your hospitality," Shingen says, bowing again.

"It is unfortunate we must darken our words with talk of storms and uncertain stars. Hopefully the weather holds, and sunny days prevail," Shingen says, motioning with his cup of tea, then taking a sip.

TheGrandMystic
Aug 7, 2007


Bayushi Kuroda

Pleased that his gift had gone over well, Kuroda politely accepts the cup of sake poured for him by Shizuka's yojimbo. "We once again thank you for your hospitality," he offers again with a bow as the offer to stay is reiterated before taking a sip.

"It is interesting to hear this first news that the Phoenix follow the Dragon in measured and calm response to this great matter - they too have watched their border, seemingly content for now with whatever it is those mysterious mountain-dwellers sense. That the Phoenix - as well as others that they might summon - well-versed as they are in matters of astrology are looking into the stars must be pleasing to the many that gaze upon the night sky, eying its beauty and receiving inspiration for their next great work yet finding that something may be different, even ever-so-slightly, and are unable to explain for themselves what that may be," the Scorpion says as he takes another sip of his drink, his eyes glancing over to his fellow travelers to see if they would chime in as he sets down his cup.

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Yoritomo Kazewa



"Your hospitality is greatly appreciated." swiftly replied the Mantis.

Yoritomo Kazewa nodded in agreement with Shingen's notion as he regarded the words of Kuroda, patiently accepting the sake proffered by Shizuka's yojimbo. "Indeed. But it is said that the nature of storms resounds with unexpectedness itself, except when a fortune grants us their beneficence within such a matter, of course." remarked Kazewa, choosing his words carefully, although he was relatively wild he knew when it was time to be as stuffy as imaginable. Even the Phoenix are no exception to this... yet.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL




Doji Ineko

"Indeed, your hospitality is even greater than all that I have heard of your noble family, Asako-sama." The words sound hollow even to Ineko. Being the fourth or fifth to repeat the same thing can do that. But there are traditions to maintain and uphold, especially among the Phoenix. She is thankful that a significant portion of her companions are of the Scorpion, even if she cannot be truly sure of their loyalties. At least, if they sabotage her goals, she can know it was intentional.

"Too much conversation of future storms in the light of day can irritate and anger the weather kami. Or so I have been told." She bows low again, as she accepts the sake, perhaps being just slightly overzealous with her humility. "There is wisdom in Asako-sama's words, in knowing when to rest, and to save talk of dark times for dark hours."

Lazy Bear
Feb 1, 2013

Never too lazy to dance with the angels

Kazuya

The Doji's yojimbo remains silent through the others talking. While Doji-sama was required to voice her appreciation of the hospitality and hint around their objective, Kazuya had the distinct and valued privilege of just being a servant. As such, he took this opportunity to do what it is that servants do: Shut up and look subservient. When offered sake, he very quietly and politely declined. As his duty was to be a protector for Doji-sama, he could not permit himself such a pleasure as it may impede his ability to protect his charge. Surely, the Shiba protector of the hostess could understand such.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...


Bayushi Aoshi

Aoshi neither sighs nor rolls his eyes, but keeps the pleasantly blank expression on his face. This dance is necessary. Why, exactly, he cannot say. Still, the present company was pleasant enough. He could find ways to enjoy himself here, for now, if waiting was what it would take to secure the greater goals of the group. That didn't mean, however... He politely declines a cup of sake, indicating that he had not finished his tea yet, but echoing the sincere thanks for the hospitality. He could fight just fine drunk, but he didn't entirely trust the Phoenix yet. No sense in giving them any sort of advantage.

"Yes, darkness would be a dismal topic on such a pleasant day. This one would enjoy a tour of the grounds, if such a thing is possible. Your mountain forests are unlike the forests and coasts of my old home, but no less beautiful. But storms? To this one, storms recall pleasant days testing swords on the shore with the school's sword sharpener, breaking the blades against the crashing waves to see if the steel held and was worthy of his ministrations. And when one is given a large task, it does not matter whether a storm rolls in; certainly the master would not accept such an excuse. Heaven would not send rainclouds while we were busy if it did not think we could work through them. And all that rain is necessary for the new crops to grow and deliver a bountiful harvest, from what this one understands."

Forums Terrorist
Dec 8, 2011


Pleasantries are exchanged and tea and sake are had, before Shizuka-sama takes her leave. "I expect our first guests will arrive tomorrow. I'm sure they would be most interested in hearing of your travels." She bows, her yojimbo doing so in turn as he follows her, though he continues to distrust you even as he leaves. The servants reappear and lead you to your spartan but functional quarters. While you are guests in her home, you have the run of the grounds (within reason), which are quite extensive. Your first real opportunity to gain converts lies with tomorrow's visitor; how will you prepare?

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...


Bayushi Aoshi

Aoshi will take the opportunity to wander the grounds, taking in the cool mountain forests and the well tended gardens, so alike yet different from the forests of his homeland. Are there are other Phoenixes about during his wanderings? From all the stern looks her yojimbo gave, asking Shizuka-sama herself is probably impossible, but he's interested in gaining any sort of clues or hints as to the identities or concerns about our visitors tomorrow. Failing that, surely it can't be impossible for a handsome young man to find someone to play shogi with, can it? He can provide his own set, if (for some strange reason) one is not available in the palace.

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Yoritomo Kazewa

Graciously accepting the invitation to wander the ground, Yoritomo Kazewa does just that: aggressively so, in fact.

Energetically looking for games of kemari as he wanders around, likely drawing all of the attention! Oh what a pity!

He even brought his kemari ball with him so people have less of an excuse to turn him down, and he is more than willing to use polite obligation in order to get a game of kemari out of someone.

When not exercising his body with kemari, he plays jaunty (relatively-speaking) songs on his flute, helping him think of day ahead and how to entreat the guests in hopes of them following the correct path.

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TheGrandMystic
Aug 7, 2007


Bayushi Kuroda

Kuroda also takes advantage of the ability to wander the grounds and does so to take a look at various artistic pieces: paintings on display, shaped hedges and arranged plant designs, rock gardens, and so on. Much like Aoshi, he also looks into the identities of tomorrow's visitors and new arrivals by speaking with the castle servants when alone and given the opportunity, for instance while requesting tea in his room. Surely the servants are not only knowledgeable of such guests in advance in order to make the proper arrangements but they can easily be "persuaded" to share that information if it allows them to, in the smallest of ways, be involved in the intrigues of court, yes?

If a suitable spot in the shade of a tree or other spot of beauty can be found, Kuroda will also spend some time working on his calligraphy, perhaps even giving a demonstration if anyone happens to be interested.

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