>"After arriving at Toshi Ranbo, I met with Shosuro Ryoko, my fiancée from the Scorpion Clan. She was alternately affectionate and furious with me, which pretty much describes our relationship our entire lives. She gave me a rundown on who's at Winter Court, which included some names I did recognize, some I didn't, and one I personally have met before though I haven't seen him since I got here. I also met Tsi Kotetsu, the Oriole Clan smith who forged my sword, Kotetsu Amatsubaki. I can't decide if he likes me or not, but maybe that's not really how the Tsi think; he seemed to judge people entirely by the conditions of their swords. Weird."
>From the Journal of Toky Jubei, 1406 Isawa Calender
"So then what happened?" Hiroaki asks you as he pours you some more of the excellent green tea.
"You're not gonna believe this but she was a ninja the ENTIRE time," you say as you take another piece of kabayaki unagi into your laqured chopsticks with a sigh.
Hiroaki, Shinzo, and Sakon all burst out laughing, with the last choking on his hot tea as he tries not to snort it from his laugher.
"Oh WOW," Shinzo says, clapping a hand over his eyes. "You have GOT to be kidding."
"I WISH I was kidding," you say, popping the delicious barbecued and marinated fish into your mouth.
"So...so...*heh*...so what you do?" Sakon asks, wiping tears from his eyes.
"What do you THINK I did man? I drew and started to cut my way out of there! They were ALL ninjas, it was ridiculous!"
"Oh man, and you had NO idea?" Hiroaki inquires as he takes some pickles.
"No! I mean, how was I supposed to know? There wasn't a sign above the village that say 'SECRET NINJA HIDEOUT, NO SAMURAI ALLOWED' or anything!"
"I guess Shinzo would know if they did that or not, right Shinzo?" Sakon says slyly.
"I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. Soy sauce?" he offers the Ikoma.
"Yes, thank you," he accepts politely.
"But, at a wedding? Seriously?" Hiroaki asks.
"I dunno! I think maybe they thought I was a distant relative or something, and before I knew it I was engaged in the festivities and almost married myself. I couldn't keep track of it all!"
>[Ask Ikoma Sakon how his work is going]
>[Ask Miya Hiroaki how his work is going]
>[Ask Shinzo when the Dragon and Phoenix are arriving today]
You swallow the unagi and speak again.
"How goes your own duties, Hiroaki-san?" you ask.
He shrugs; he's a humble-looking man with a traditional chonmage topknot and a thin beard; if it weren't for the Imperial family mon on his kimono you'd have a hard time knowing he was a member of the Kuge, even from how he acts. You've met him a few times before now, as he is the herald that delivers Imperial Edicts to your home province and acts as an intermediary between the Monkey Clan and the Shogun and Emperor. The Miya are always on good terms with the Minor Clans for that duty they perform.
"You know the saying Jubei-san; 'there are no Miya heroes'. We just deliver edicts and messages to the Clans and help the peasants when and where we can. Right now we're trying to just keep everything working. The Emerald Empire's newfound prosperity isn't always popular among some Clans," he says sadly. "The changes in economy require...some slight social adjustments in traditional thinking I think, but the heimin are more prosperous then they've ever been an there is more wealth flowing through the Empire then ever."
Shinzo rubs the "chin" of his mempo.
"But is that truly to be admired? If the heimin prosper and the Buke do not flourish as well, is that not an imbalance in the Celestial Order? Some of the...shall we say, more TRADITIONAL Clans are often at a disadvantage, unable to really adapt to modern times," he says, looking pointedly at the Lion samurai.
Ikoma Sakon is a heavy, muscular man with long hair and heavy sideburns, and he nods his head as he takes a bit of pickled daikon and eats it.
"The Matsu certainly ARE having problems, don't even get me started," he admits without even hesitating. "They have this army large enough to drown half of the Empire now and then wonder why they don't have enough food or money to support themselves, as if having the army inherently pays for itself or something! To make matters worse they even have the temerity to bitch about the usage of teppo in armies, as if it's still the 12th century and we haven't had them for over eighty years now! The Akodo grumble about it but are much more reasonable; their armies are still sizable and their tactics are still excellent so they can find no fault in things that they voice aloud."
Shinzo looks amused.
"You're certainly being open with a Shosuro sitting across from you, Sakon-san."
"Don't even pretend like you aren't already aware of it, Shinzo-san," Sakon replies, waving it off. "It's as evident that the Lion's traditionalists are having difficulty adapting as it is Hida are large and Dragon are vague and Scorpion wear masks. You aren't learning anything you haven't known already all your life."
Shinzo's eyes smirk above his mempo, but he says nothing.
"But what about you, Jubei-san?" Sakon asks. "How does the Monkey feel about the new developments in the Empire?"
>"I think it's good that the hemin are prospering."
>"Foreign trade is definitely shaking things up across Rokugan."
>"I don't really have much of an opinion."
>"I think it's good that the hemin are prospering."
After all, the stronger the foundations, the sturdier the home. If the peasants are better off, the those above them can be greater for it.
>"I think it's good that the hemin are prospering."
This reply is consistent with our Clan's origin.
Now it is true that "samurai turning bandits" is going to happen sooner or later, but it might be a lesser evil when the heimin have bigger supplies.
For example, were the banditry to happen during an economic crisis or famine, it would be a catastrophe.
You think about the burly Lion samurai's question before answering.
"I think it's a good thing. The Heimin are an important part of the Celestial Order and their prosperity is our prosperity. It's part of a samurai's duty to ensure that they're safe and happy. Right now I don't see nearly as many problems besetting them as they used to have in history."
You don't add that the majority of problems the peasants have had were because of the Buke killing each other over and on the lands they farmed.
Shinzo stroke his "chin" again.
"Isn't it true that their role in the Celestial Order is to support the Buke, though?" he points out.
"Is it? The Celestial Order shows no real evidence of that. The caste systems weren't created until well after the Great Kami landed on Ningen-do, and they were set up later as a method to organize the Empire and keep it safe. The Kami all died and returned to Tengoku before anything resembling the modern caste system of the Empire even existed, so we don't know what they would have thought about it, do we Sakon?" you ask, inquiring the man from the family of famous historians.
The bard leans in his knee and looks at you beneath bushy eyebrows before answering.
"No. Akodo's writings are on war. Very little is said about the Celestial Order or the heimin, other then that they are to be protected and not abused. A lesson some samurai have yet to learn," he says, not looking at Shinzo.
"So now we're debating the will of the Great Kami? Forgive me for saying so, but isn't that a bit sacrilegious?" Shinzo notes.
"Aniue, you might say I have something of a...flexible view on how firm the Celestial Order is or isn't," you say with a smile. "Maybe things aren't so permanent and unchangable as some of the Buke think."
The other three are silent; you aren't a political authority by any means, but as the direct decedent of man who went from peasant, to ronin, to Clan Champion and Captain of the Imperial Legions, and finally to god, you have a point.
Sorry for slow posting reply, weird internet connection here.
Here's a Hiruma in apology.
"Sakon! What are you doing?" a voice says from across the sitting room you and your three friends are having lunch.
Really, you only just met Ikoma Sakon earlier and invited Shinzo and Hiroaki to dine with you because you knew them. If you HAVE to waste time being here in Winter Court you should at least get to do it with friends and interesting people.
The Lion samurai-ko who walks in has long red hair (an unusual trait but not unheard of amongst the Lion), and fine features. Her figure is pretty well-built; she has strong-looking arms that you're guessing are as impressive as her shoulders and a prominent chest line....which you guess (come to think of it) might have nothing to do with muscles and more to do with her breasts, so maybe that's a bad indicator of her strength. You guess you'd call her pretty if she didn't look so pissed off.
"Eating lunch?" he says, waving around with his chopsticks. "Unagi? It's really quite excellent."
She looks in annoyance at Shinzo, who happily waves at her and you, who gives an informal "Yo". You're thinking it's the company he's keeping DURING lunch that's the issue here.
>[Politely Introduce Yourself]
>[Invite her over casually]
The Akodo mostly.
Ginawa was one of the Ten Ronin who served Toturi I's when he was the Black Lion and served right alongside Toku, so when he became Daimyo of the reformed Akodo that kinda carried.
Plus, Monkey Lands are basically ON Lion Lands if you want to get technical.
You stand up and politely bow.
"Konnichiwa, Matsu-san," you say as you see her Family mon. "I am Toku Jubei, a shugeyosha."
She blinks at your introduction, and her expression changes somewhat to something less annoyed. Clearly she's heard of you.
"My...apologies Toku-san," she says, bowing back. "I am Tora Akane no Matsu, a Gunso in the Lion's Pride and daughter of the head of the Tora Vassal Family of the Matsu, niece to Matsu Akemi, Daimyo of the Matsu, Champion of the Lion."
Yikes. That's one hell of a lineage.
A Gunso in the Lion's Pride AND the Clan Champion's niece?
"I am Shosuro Shinzo, a samurai of no consequence," Shinzo says with a bow. You roll your eyes at the joke. Scorpion never reveal their lineage, mostly to keep people guessing. It took you awhile to figure that stuff out. You didn't because right now all you ARE is a shugeyosha and bragging is not a very good way to be humble, which is a virtue.
She nods her head without even bowing as if to say "I could give a shit" to Shinzo before turning back to Sakon.
"Sakon, why were you not at Retsudo-san's duel? It shows weakness and disunity," she points out bluntly.
Sakon sips his tea as he answers. "Because I already knew who would win. Retsudo had the man so outclassed that the poor fellow was actually foolish enough to challenge him. Even Retsudo knows that. We don't seem weak, Akane-san, we just seem like people who have better things to do then watch a fool get himself beaten to sleep by a bokuto."
She looks like she wants to argue but doesn't also want to argue in front of other Clan samurai, gritting her teeth behind her full lips.
She keeps glancing at you, like she wants to say something.
>"Would you like to join us, Akane-san? The food is quite tasty."
>"Is something wrong?"
She and Ryoko are gonna kill him 26 times before he hits the ground.
"The food is adequate, Naotora-san, you're hungry? The palace chefs prepared it," you offer.
The last bit was because Shinzo was sitting here. Everyone's nervous about dining with Scorpion. You don't know why; poisoning someone while eating with a known Scorpion always seemed far too spectacularly obvious to you.
"No," she says flatly. "But I WOULD challenge you to a match and see your stance."
Shinzo and Sakon both look to you to see your reaction.
>"Perhaps later. I'd like to see the Dragon and Phoenix when they arrive."
>"Apologies, but no."
>>"Perhaps later. I'd like to see the Dragon and Phoenix when they arrive."
Wouldn't want to be unconscious for later. I don't think she would want to be either.
We're gonna get our ass kicked, woohoo!
Apologies for the short post BTW, but Naotora Akane no Matsu really IS very blunt, heh.
Also; her family name "Naotora" actually had the word for "Tiger" in it; it's an extremely masculine name from a Japanese perspective.
>"Perhaps later. I'd like to see the Dragon and Phoenix when they arrive."
If she wants to see our stance so bad, she could train with us or something.
In fact an inter-Clan class could be a wonderful opportunity to learn from one another, without getting ourselves beaten with a stick like a fucking dog.
Fucking Matsu, they make me think like a bloody Crane by comparison, I swear to Amaterasu...
She only wants to duel because she recognizes Jubei. She knows Jubei is a great swordsman and wants a chance to potentially show off. Just because she's a Matsu doesn't mean she's just a brute. Some Lion actually buy into the whole honor thing
It's etiquette, food is never cause for excitement or praise. What are we, some heinin starving after a day of working in the fields?
This is tricky, she might take insult if we refuse or suggest we wait, in which case she might just challange us for offending her. However accepting means we're probably seen as overly eager to fight, and all clans that still have to arrive will have heard our name floating around before seeing us, which doesn't paint a good image. I'd go with
And I don't want to attend diplomatic duties while looking like a Slav after a soccer tournament final, with a bilateral black eye and broken teeth.
We're not refusing her, by the way. She's not the epitome of patience, I know, but given the stakes, she won't fight us here and now if we're not ready.
Look, I'm not being a defeatist, but we've built our reputations by chopping bandits to pieces, which is not exactly dueling bushi from the Lion clan with this kind of pedigree.
With the Ruby Champion as a father and the Toku Daimyo as an uncle, I'm sure Jubei has had training on par with any other samurai in Rokugan.
Actually, was it ever said what school Jubei went too?
"A friendly match?" you ask.
"Sure," she says with a completely unconvincing shrug. You do your best not to wince; from what you've heard, Matsu "friendly matches" are differentiated only by how sharp the weapons are.
"Apologies Naotora-san, but perhaps later. A duel with one of your skill and fame would likely take a considerable amount of time and draw much of the court to watch, and I wish to greet the Phoenix and Dragon delegations as they arrive. My Senpai and one of my classmates will be with them and I wish to greet and pay my respects to them," you say with a polite bow.
She frowns but doesn't disagree.
"How is it that a Minor Clan samurai has a Senpai who is a Dragon or a Phoenix?" she asks, clearly perplexed.
"After my childhood training at Toku Torid-E in my homeland, I was sent to study at the Hundred Stances Dojo. I had classmates from many clans, Minor and Great. My immediate Senpai was Uesugi Seijuro no Mirumoto."
Her full lips part slightly in surprise before answering.
"You know the White Dragon of Kaitou?" she says, clearly impressed while trying to sound merely curious.
"Hai, Naotora-san. Perhaps later we can have a match though. I would also like to practice with Akodo Retsudo, whom I have heard of in my travels. I think in all matches there is much we can learn from each other, especially in my case."
She nods at your words and answers.
"I will convey your words to Retsudo-san. It is honorable that you pay your respects to your Senpai before attending to personal matters. My compliments," she says with a nod before leaving.
You exhale a bit, opening your eyes to see Sakon and Shinzo smiling at you.
>"What's so funny?"
>"Knock it off. I'm going to go see the Dragon and Phoenix arrive."
"What's so funny?"
"That was a very clever way to refuse her Ototo," Shinzo compliments. "By suggesting the fight would take a long time and attract a crowd you both suggested she had great skill and that she was worthy of attention of the full court, but also implied that you were not weak yourself without seeming arrogant."
"And by explaining it as wanting to pay respects to your senpai you show respect for honor and tradition that impresses her and she can't directly refuse without seeming hasty and crude," Sakon adds. "Pretty slick, Jubei-san."
"I don't know what you guys are talking about," you say as you stand up and put your sword away into your obi. "I just told her the truth and tried to be polite about it. Come on, we're gonna miss the procession.
Later you wait outside the inner palace district in the lightly snowed courtyard as the Dragon and Phoenix arrive together on horseback, their important dignitaries being carried in ornate kago. They seem to freely mix the group and don't appear to not allow socializing between the two Clans, which makes some sense as the Dragon and Phoenix have long been allied.
Across the courtyard you see the Lion Clan and Crane, both with a fair distance between the two, while you get shoved in with the Minor Clan dignitaries.
Interestingly you see amongst the Crane Hiramori Daisuke of the Daidoji family. He recognizes you from across the street and gives a subtle nod that if you didn't know him you'd think you were imagining. You'll have to catch up with him later, especially about that play thing they made about you, the "Fiend of Akagi". He was there for that stuff too but he isn't famous for it as far as you can tell, and neither Shinzo nor Ryoko recognized his name at all.
"You never told me you knew Uesugi Seijuro," Shinzo whispers next to you as the gates open and the procession starts.
>"You never asked."
>"It wasn't important. And Senpai never liked glory much."
"It never really came up in conversation," you reply with a shrug.
"Hmm," Shinzo says, his tone thoughtful. "You really are far more clever then you let on, Otouto. You hide much of your skill and knowledge behind humility and your contacts behind indifference."
"Or maybe humility is a virtue and who I know isn't relevant to what I do and therefore I see no reason to announce it to everyone," you retort, a bit annoyed at your brother-in-law. Do Scorpion ever STOP politicking? Being married to Ryoko is going to be a nightmare if not.
After the processions are done and the servants go to get the dignitaries situated you spot Hikaru in the Phoenix procession, and he smiles and walks over in his armor and bows to you as you bow back.
"Konnichiwa, Hikaru-san," you say happily. "It's been years since I've seen you last. I wrote whenever I could."
"Konnichiwa, Jubei-san. Last time we saw each other was at the Battle of Otosan-Uchi, correct? The Clan War seems like such a long time ago."
You blink at that and Shinzo gives you an aside glance.
"Uh. No?" you respond, and Hikaru suddenly looks perplexed and shakes his head a bit, as if removing something from his vision.
"I mean...sorry, not since you were at Nikesake two years ago, right?" he corrects himself.
"Yeah, that's the one," you nod, politely overlooking his..."lapse", you guess you could call it. When Hikaru flashes back he flashes ALL the way back. Definitely an unusual problem to have.
"How have you been? I've been hearing some pretty odd stories about you since you went footloose. Something about yakuza in Zakyo Toshi and Ryoko Owari, and something about a nue in Akagi? That crazy play?"
>"I actually still haven't seen it. How are things in your Clan?"
>"Have you seen Seijuro-senpai?"
"I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that though there is now a play about me I still haven't seen it. Not much time for that sort of thing on musha shugyo," you admit, scratching the back of your head beneath your topknot awkwardly.
He gives a short laugh.
"I suppose not. There were lots of us at the Thousand Blades Dojo but I've never met anyone devoted to the way of the sword and Bushido as you are, even to the exclusion of all else." he compliments. You think.
Hikaru looks over to your brother in law and nods.
"You must be Jubei-san's brother. He always spoke highly of your skill and personality," he says with a level of respect that seems to genuinely put Shinzo off-balance.
"He...did?" he says, clearly surprised. "He spoke to me of you, Hikaru-san. He often said you were his best friend at the dojo."
"I am honored that I am thought of as such. Perhaps we should all dine together at some point? I'd love to know more about you in person rather then from just Jubei-san's perspective."
"Indeed. I would be honored," Shinzo says with a bow.
"How are things in the Phoenix?" you ask.
"Well enough. Though the new economy is...confusing to some samurai, the peaceful nature of our lands and our relationship with the Crane keeps merchants readily coming to us. The only marginally disruptive thing is the Lion's saber-rattling. Now if you'll excuse me, my Isawa-san is signaling me," he says, trotting off.
As Hikaru leaves he "hmms", and you raise a questioning eyebrow.
"His katana; it's bound in a peaceknot made of prayer beads," your brother-in-law points out.
"Oh that," you say with a nod. "He's done that since his gempukku. He doesn't like fighting and leaves the beads there to remind himself of it."
"And yet I remember you telling him he is a highly proficient fencer?"
"Yeah. About three out of every five fights we have he'd win."
"Interesting. Where is your Senpai?"
"Dunno. Can't see him anywhere."
>[Wait for Seijuro-senpai]
>[Head for the dojo, see if Naotora's still there]
>[Head for the Castle of Law; you have someone you want to see there.]
>[Head for the gardens; you could use some peace and quiet.]
Hey, if I gotta leave before this thread reaches the bump limit, don't let it die.
Tired of making lame-ass short threads because of life stuff and would like to archive threads work archiving, you know?
You keep waiting to see Seijuro-senpai, but he never shows despite the Dragon all leaving for greener pastures and less boring parts of the inner city.
Instead some other guests arrive; some monks (likely from the brotherhood) and some ronin from Nanashi Mura.
One has a mon you don't immediately recognize.
"Furinkazan?" you say aloud, looking at the stylized characters. That sounds vaguely familiar, but you can't place it at all.
>[Head for the gardens]
>[Go chat up the ronin]
>[Go ask the Dragon (if you can find them) about Seijuro-senpai.]
You sight at Seijuro-senpai's lack of appearance; you saw Hikaru after your time in the dojo but Seijuro not since you left. You wonder what happened?
You decide to go keep your word to Matsu Akane and visit the dojo, maybe see Retsudo fight as well.
The way there is short but covered lightly in snow, and you can hear the sound of talking and the occasional clap inside, which makes you a bit nervous.
When you arrive you see Matsu Akane standing above an Imperial Legionnaire who looks quite beat up, with Akane holding a large practice spear.
The crowd here has multiple courtiers, including the Imperial Families, notably the Otomo...and then your eyes fall upon the far end of where the Imperial families are seated, and a man in regal green robes sits on an elevated platform in front of the shrine, with Shogun Kaneka Ashikaga seated just below him.
You recognize this man; you met him once, seven years ago during your gempukku at the Topaz Championship.
His birth name (as you've heard it) is Sori, but mostly he's known now as Hantei IX, the Mikado of the Emerald Empire.
"Ah," the Shogun says as you walk in with a smile across his lined face. "It seems that Jubei-san has decided to show after all Akane-san. Perhaps we shall get to see something quite spectacular today."
>[Apologize for tardiness]
>[Give thanks and prayers to the Mikado and the Shogun]
>[Give thanks and prayers to the Mikado and the Shogun]
Thank them for waiting for us.
Seeing as LN stuff was a thing on the last thread, I'm rather fond of this show. It's best described as "Mel Brooks writes reincarnated to another world light novel."
Notable aspect includes the main cast is filled with entertaining assholes, and the fact that the influx of reincarnated "heroes" from another world are fucking up the ecosystem of the world (For example, most starter mobs has been hunted close to extinction and the survivor became the tucker/dire version of themselves.)
Sorry, I misremembered where this conversation took place, it was the first thread.
I saw Log Horizon being a surprise hit to you, and I would like the recommend a show that doesn't abuse, quoting from you, "FRIENDSHIP and YAMATO-DAMASHII and GIFTED SWORDSMANSHIP or IMAGINATIVE USE OF SUPPOSEDLY USELESS POWER." and this show fulfill that criteria.
Apologies for the derail.
You get on your hands and knees and bow deeply to the Mikado, forehead touching the floor.
"Dono, I apologize my tardiness. I have come to have my promised match with Naotora Akane no Matsu," you say, trying your best to speak in High Rokugani as politely as possible.
It's not easy as you've only had to do it once.
"It's alright, Young Samurai," the Emperor says with a smile you can hear. "If it's anything like your performance six years ago then it will be something worth waiting for. It's not every day that a Minor Clansman wins the Topaz Championship. Or every decade even."
Oh. Great. He remembers you.
No pressure, right?
I must take leave to GM a short game to my RL group. Bizarrely without my input picker L5R.
>[Give thanks and prayers to the Mikado and the Shogun]
ALWAYS respect those above you. Apologies can come later. We said we were going to meet our senpai and so we were waiting to do so. We waited as long as was polite and then came here.
This is Rokugan. Maybe it's because I always play Crane, but there is a correct order and hierarchy for EVERYTHING. We've so far followed the Celestial Order and Bushido to the letter and spirit. Odd, considering our ancestry, but absolutely the OPPOSITE of disgraceful.
so now we have an audience....so on one hand we lose in front of the entire imperial court, or at least those who matter or we humiliate a matsu whose not going to take it lying down....
Well at least the fiance may be able to spin something from this, lets just do what we do best.
In all fairness, Toku was more idealistic about Bushido then most of the heads of the Great Clans were during the Clan Wars; politics and societal expectations was completely secondary to being a good samurai.
Yeah, honouring bushido is absolutely zero surprise for anyone who knows our ancestor or reputation. Respecting the Celestial Order and society's strict and byzantine social conventions, less so...
>How do we match up?
Jubei had never seen her fight, so he really only knows that she fights like a Matsu, albeit a highly skilled one.
Matsu have a massively offense-based fighting style, one that favors massive overpowering assaults over defense.
Unfortunately he's never seen a Lion's Pride member fight.
>Anything Jubei has noticed that might give an edge?
Matsu, as long as you can take the initiative and strike first, or can survive the first strike, are very easy to hit.
Unfortunately they often have a "taking you with me" mentality.
>Also how are you?
Not bad, all things considered.
Is there any active war to try to reclaim and reduce the, for the lack of the proper term, Shadowlands? I've only read the system and not played in it, so I'm not sure if that's right.
Again, just because she's a Matsu doesn't mean she 100% has to be a mindless brute.
Even if she is, I have high doubts she's gonna start anything over a duel witnessed by the EMPEROR HIMSELF
Not really; due to the Taint, the Shadowlands are basically permanently horrible.
In this era, the widespread usage of guns and the Kaiu family's absolute mastery of artillery means that the Wall is basically safer then it's ever been; very few demons are invulnerable to volleys of canon combined with the usual Crab attacks, leaving only powerful ones that ALL of the shugenja in the area can focus on since the rest of the horde is dead or broken.
Ages prior to the setting the Festering Pit of Fu-Leng was "closed", which also effectively cut off Ningen-do from the more powerful demons that rose out of it, which means the Shadowlands is no longer like Mordor and more like a horrible badlands everyone avoids going to since there's no real way to get rid the Taint that's already there.
There technically IS a way to clear an area of Taint, but as it drives out ALL kami in the region, good and bad, it basically turns the place into a desert.
Still, that's often better than having demons and undead pop out on a semi-regular basis Basically, while you theoretically COULD drive the kami out of an area and then rejuvenate it over the process of GENERATIONS of careful care and attention, it's just not practical to do that to an area as vast and dangerous a the Shadowlands.
Hell, it's not even practical for the Crab to do that for one of their MAJOR HOLDINGS! They just let it sit there as a lifeless desert and import food and water from other clans, like the Mantis and Crane.
Oh and hearing that the Kaiu have taken to canon like ducks to water pleases me greatly. This just fits them perfectly with their attitude of, "Will it kill an oni? Good, we'll take a hundred. Yes it's probably dishonourable, but have you SEEN how many teeth that thing has?!"
>since there's no real way to get rid the Taint that's already there.
That what you think, but the Crab are tunneling deep in order to FLOOD THE WORLD WITH JADE LAVA.
The Crab took to gunpowder FAST, since it's extremely effective when used by en-massed infantry, which is their entire thing.
The Kaiu are just mechanical geniuses in general so they took to it very fast.
Lol, you guys are cute
It hurts them because they need food imports to feed their population, but since that's always been true from a practical standpoint very little has actually changed. Basically because they were ALREADY poor and frugal and had few samurai, the massive number of samurai compared to the cost of feeding them never became a problem.
They also trade with the Yobanjin now since foreign trade is now legal.
Actually I based it off the heavy canons from the Iron Rokugan setting.
Same thing they always do; arts, crafts, whatever they can get their hands on.
The dragon have the same number of artisans and such as any other clan, they just aren't famous for it.
And technically it's what the heimin trade, not the Dragon themselves.
>Hell, it's not even practical for the Crab to do that for one of their MAJOR HOLDINGS! They just let it sit there as a lifeless desert and import food and water from other clans, like the Mantis and Crane.
That's not true. The best efforts of the Kuni to repair the damaged wastelands thus far have produced some very shitty gardens.
The Kuni made their wasteland functional by creating "ley lines", which, while never fully explained, seem to function as kami highways, so they can call for power on a ley line and actually get it. In older editions, this meant that ONLY Kuni and people expressely trained by the Kuni could actually cast there, since nobody else knew how to use the lines. In 4th edition, it's basically just an increased target number. They've tried to reintroduce the kami, but have only been able to do so on very small scales with a lot of special attention.
You stand up and walk over to the stand and test the bokuto, finding one that fits you. Naturally you pick the heaviest, giving it a test swing. It's much denser then a katana, but you've been training on the heaviest ones for year so you don't mind and swing it just as fast.
Besides, you might need the extra heft to knock her down.
"Naotora Akane no Matsu challenges Toku Jubei! SHOBU-YO!" she says, taking up a Jodan stace, both hands in the grip and the blade pointed up near her right side.
"Toku Jubei, Monkey Clan, accepts Matsu Akane's challenge. Shobu-da!" you respond.
>Chudan (Attack) Stance
>Jodan (Full Attack) Stance
>Gedan (Defense) Stance
>Hasso (Full Defense) Stance
>Waki (Center) Stance
Hah! Finally my real-life kenjutsu training comes into play outside of class!
>Chudan (Attack) Stance
I don't think testing the stamina of a Lion's Pride member is a great idea. Probably want to keep pressure on her without opening ourselves too much with the full attack like she is
You take the Hasso stance, left foot forward, your dominant food placed back, and the sword brought up near your face in an upright position; similar to hers, but in a defensive form.
She immediately rushes forward with an "ARIYYYYYYAAAAA!" kiai and throws a powerful diagonal slash at you which you block with a grunt as you bring up your bokuto as they clack together with a sound that echoes across the dojo!
She cries out again and strikes with equal fury again, forcing you to pull back as another hits your guard again, slamming the full weight of her body and every ounce of power she can manage into it! She is STRONG, even stronger then you are and you are no weakling by any means!
She keeps forcing you back with powerful and measured blows that make your arms numb, but you keep the defense solid against her unrelenting assault, appearing completely helpless before her fury!
You can see that despite her reckless attack, she's actually managing to protect herself just a bit from attacks that otherwise would hit her, and despite the heavy power behind the blows she swiftly manags to strike again even after rebounding off your guard!
She isn't in the Lion's Pride for nepotism, that's for sure.
>[Keep waiting her out, she might tire!]
>[Get mobile and try to maneuver around her!]
>[After her next attack switch to offense!]
Actually with the exception of the Badger Clan guy (who's there looking for work and is exploring outside of the mountains) ALL THREE of the other party members live in and around Otosan Uchi.
The Yotsu and Kasuga both live near there, and the Ujina has the Imperial Spouse advantage and so he lives there and had the Miya family name.
I didn't actually plan it that way, but it works out pretty well.
If this defensive stance has our dominant foot in back am I right in assuming that a full attack stance would have our dominant foot forward?
During our maneuvers can we swap feet and switch to the offense?
I mean I have no idea what's what with l5r but this has been really interesting.
>[After her next attack switch to offense!]
Matsu are really good at cowing an agile opponent. Threaten to push her into a corner, and get her to pull back into a better position.
The next impact hits you, and instead of taking it and backing off you nimbly shift and angle your block, letting it slide off the wooden blade and moving to her left side!
You begin to get mobile, dodging her strikes by narrow margins, forcing her to turn and strike at you with all of her might! She shows incredible control and agility, managing ALMOST to keep up with you as you dodge and duck around her blows, though the margin of error gets smaller every time! This is definitely working though, and she's forced to overextend her blows to try and hit you!
>[Risk waiting for an opening and counter-attack!]
>[Keep moving and wait for her to tire!]
>[Shift to an offensive stance and try to force het into defense!]
>but the benefit of them is that they allow you to move into combat maneuvers better.
Kinda wish that was true in actual L5R.
As it stands in 4e, it is basically:
Full Attack: Bonus to attacks but lowers defense. Move faster, but can only move closer to enemies if you move.
Attack: No restrictions, but no bonuses.
Center: Take no actions to charge up for next turn.
Defense: Can not attack, but gains bonus to defense.
Full Defense: Gain big bonus to defense but can do nothing else.
Her face screws up as she tries to keep up with you, and then you suddenly shift into an offensive position and strike back! She manages to pull back at the last second and block, you new offensive stance forcing her to change how she fights just to avoid at hit!
Her defense is just as formidable as her offense, but you can see the frustration on her face as she clearly desires to take an offensive stance again and return to her preferred method of attack!
She can fend off your measured and precise attacks, guided by every inch of your power and speed, but only barely, and she can't expose herself at all while you're striking her!
>[See how she likes being on the defensive and keep it up!]
>[Give her an opening to exploit!]
>[Try and maneuver her into a corner!]
You keep hitting her and then subtly shift to a stance that gives her an opening as you dart to her left side like you did earlierc and she strikes out to try and prevent you from moving and strike you rather then out-maneuver her!
As you dart over to one side, you instead duck low and let the attack pass JUST over your head, then move straight at her and place one hand on her left shoulder, VAULTING over her into a flip that makes the crowd gasp in surprise!
The only way you can hit her, when she shifts into defense so quickly from offense is from BEHIND.
So as you land behind her you take your bokuto into your hands and spin, swinging at her neck just as she turns to try and block just as your blow stops just before it hits her neck.
She stops her swing, realizing that with s steel sword you would have decspitated her, and even with a bokuto you could potentially break her neck.
The crowd seems to realize it's over and begins clapping and cheering!
You exhale as you lower the bokken and bow to her, and she gets over the startled look on her face and bows right back after a halting second.
You go and take a place to sit at the side to catch your breath, and to your surprise the Matsu woman follows.
Everyone seems to be talking about how swift and one-sided the fight was......everyone who isn't a bushi anyway, but you know how damn close that fight got.
"I apologize, Toku-san," the red-headed woman says next to you, her eyes facing straight ahead.
>*Politely remain silent*
"Alright. Apology accepted," you say as you untie the sleeves of your kimono. "What are you apologizing for again?"
"My....behavior," she admits, clearly struggling with the words. "I challenged you a fight not to learn from the experience, but to defeat you in front of the court and gain glory. I...knew you could not politely refuse my challenge, and thought that perhaps you were not as skilled as rumors claim."
"So?" you ask, not sure where she's going with this.
"So....it was disengeous of me to challenge you under false pretenses?"
"How were they false? You didn't say what your reasons were either way."
"I....what?" she wonders, turning towards you in confusion now.
"And challenging someone for glory is as legitimate as a reason to challenge someone as studying is. So, apology accepted but I don't really see the need for it I guess."
She is silent as you watch the warriors practice their skills for the court.
"You are...different from how I expected, Toku-san," she admits.
>"How so?" [Curious]
>"Haven't killed enough monsters?" [Humorous]
>"I get that sometimes." [Polite]
Great quest sage I'm hype for the next one
though i am wondering when we'll see any shugenja