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2006-08-02, 10:20 AM
It is the dawning of a new year in Rokugan. It should be a time for joyful celebration and merrymaking, but the corruption of the Tainted Lands has been spreading outwards. The Crab lands have been shrinking slowly for the past three months, as raiding parties from the Tainted Lands have been spreading out more and more. The Emperor has closeted himself away with his closest advisors, looking for a solution. After a full week of debating and discussion, the Emperor emerged with a plan: to wipe the taint entirely from the face of Rokugan. A large army will be sent into the heart of the Shadowlands and the taint will be cut off at its source. A call has been sent out to all able bodied individuals in the Empire. All those who volunteer will be compensated with payment, provided they aren't under the command of their Lord to do so (all you samurai, I'm afraid, have been commanded by your Clan Leaders to go forth and gain honor for your house and Clan). You find yourself drawn to the call, be it for money, honor or fame, or any combination of the three.

Some quick directions from soldiers at the front gate leads you to the center of the Capital City. Outside of the Palace are four very fancy Inns, and in front of each is a sign up station.

What do you do?

(You can all post what you want to do, and I will address them one by one)

2006-08-02, 11:44 AM
An average height man walks from the crowd in robes of yellow and green tints and armcloths of the same color. He holds a set of beads in his hands and constantly moves them between his fingers muttering under his breath. He is a simple looking man with a shaved head, a dragon tattooed on his scalp and no visible weaponry whatsoever.

He steps to the first table takes the pen and signs his name eloquently with lots of loops and crosses. He replaces the pen and speaks, "Do you know where one can find a place of bodily and spiritual peace?"

2006-08-02, 02:52 PM
a fairly short young man with long flowing black hair in indescimenant robes walks slowly down the road. he is smoking a pipe that reeks of an herbal mixture of some type. with the skill of a scribe he signs a name, Ikeira, into the scroll of names and takes a seat on the porch of the tavern. with relief evident on his face one could assume and rightfully so he is bearing more weight in his pack than he has the strength to carry. a crossbow seems to be his only weapon and yet he wears no armor. he says nothing but watches those signing up for those in need of a scribes assistance.

2006-08-02, 06:57 PM
A tall (for a Rokugani, he's about 5' 8") man strides into the square in front of the palace. He wears the garb of a Scorpion noble: a black Kimono (robes), dark red Obi (sash), and a dark purple Kataginu (a sleeveless jacket with prominent shoulders) embroidered on the back with a scorpion in red and black. On his arms are silver bracers carved with scorpions. Over his shoulder is slung a carry-sack, a shortbow and a quiver, and on his Obi hang the ancestral Daisho of a samurai, a Wakizashi and Katana. The man moves like an athelete, surefooted and lithe.
He walks to the first table, and waits behind the pipe-smoker until it his turn. When he reaches the table, he goves a short bow, arms folded inside his sleeves, to the scribe. I am Bayushi Masaya, Samurai of Lord Bayushi Otunga, here to fight for the Emperor and the Honour of the Scorpion. He signs the paper with a deft hand. Could you tell me when we shall receive our first orders?

2006-08-02, 07:53 PM
A shrill and excited laughter, probably coming from several mouths at once, approaches the gathering grounds. Its source is a group of children, following and teasing a strange-looking little man carrying a large wicker basket on his back. At least, it looks like a weird, slighly hunched, and dark-skinned bearded little man, but upon any serious inspection the small feet and arms, covered with thick brown fur, mark the individual as a rare sight indeed. The fact that his head is that of a monkey certainly adds to the strangeness of the sight.

While he looks like a strange cross of a monkey and a man, it is obvious that he is neither savage nor harmless. The foreign-looking, but fine, embroideries on his loose robe and large sash indicate some status, and the club-like weapon he carries on his waist looks servicable to all but the brashest of samurai. He looks at the gathering crowd, and his emerald-green eyes flicker with curiosity. Approaching another onlooker, he takes off his hat and asks in a sing-song high-pitched voice.

Oh, honorable sir! Would you help the poor traveler that is me to discern the nature of this gathering?

2006-08-02, 08:46 PM
((I'm going to address these one at a time, going right down the line. Also, if we could place our names at the top of our posts, that would help me to learn names quicker.))

Gleeman, the man looks at you and nods.

"We have a temple to the Gods not three blocks from here."

He points behind him to two prominent buildings.

"The one to your right that you see over the rooftops is the temple. Sign ups are going on for two more days, so get rest while you can for we head out on the third day. We will head out shortly afterwards."

Ikeira, there aren't too many others who need the help of a scribe. A few peasants sign up, but for the most part, the recruits look educated if not seasoned.

Masaya, the man whose booth you are in front of eyes you up, distrust evident in the look. He nods curtly and responds in the same manner.

"Yes, Scorpion. Three days from now the army will be assembled and ready to move. You will be left to your own...devices until then."

One of the onlookers turns to you, Shaman, curiosity plain on his face.

"The Emperor is assembling a great army to march into the Shadowlands to rid our great land of Taint forever. There are four booths in the square up there where sign up stations are situated for all those who wish to volunteer."

2006-08-02, 09:23 PM
Vrishma nods to the person who he's speaking with, and smiles - a wide, open smile, revealing pearl-white teeth.

Ah! I am most obliged, gracious sir. Taint - so this is what you call the evil ((Says something in Vanara, basically translating to "dark shroud")). Most interesting. But why four pavillions? Are one or two not enough, or are they for people of different realms?

2006-08-02, 09:30 PM

Ikeira nods as the scorpions questions are answered just as if he expected such. though he does check his money string on his wrist to see if he has enough coin to last him 2 more days. satisfied he waits patiently for the inns hostess to take his order of rice and fish with saki.

2006-08-02, 09:34 PM
Masaya glares at the man, as he is obviously insinuating that Scorpions are dishonourable, but Masaya does nothing, as it would be unpolite. Instead, he nods curtly, and goes to the inn behind. There he orders lunch, and sits down to relax.

2006-08-02, 11:45 PM
He nods to the man then begins mumbling his mantra.

Mekumu goes to this temple. As he walks down the street he never stops mumbling his mantras. When he approaches the temple he asks if he would be allowed to stay in the temple for meditation and personal workouts until the third day when we leave.

2006-08-03, 12:32 PM
Cyrus the DM

Above is an example of how I would like names to be displayed, very much like Ikeira did, for my sanity if nothing else. :P Anyway, moving on.

The onlooker responds, "I'm not exactly sure why there are four, but I'm guessing it was the most they could fit into the plaza without overcrowding things too much."

Everyone in the plaza cheers every once in awhile as someone signs their name.

Ikeira, your food is brought to you. The serving woman is polite and quick.

Masaya, you are treated more fairly and respectfully at whatever inn you decide to stay at.

The monk at the entrance bows to you, Mekumu.

"Yes, noble monk, you can stay here as long as you wish."

Ok, unless anyone has anything important that they want to do, I'm going to move along to the dawn of the third morning.

2006-08-03, 01:16 PM

for two days Ikeira has been sitting at the front watching the gathering of forces. on the third day when all begin to filter to the assembly he will speak for the first time in company.
" now this is going to be an interesting journey." ((for voice sound please see david lopan in his wheelchair mode from the movie' big trouble in little china'))

2006-08-03, 03:31 PM
((Wow, we're going fast))

For the last two days, Vrishma has been wandering around the city, but mostly marveling at the multitude of warriors signing up. Several times, he wondered if he ought to sign up too, but although he does not know much about humans, he has heard, at least, that they can be a little... strange when they go to war. However, he wonders if he can't just travel along with the army ((And he asks one of the scribes so once)).

In the meantime, he uses his travels around the city to look at the spirits that populate this town and the land around it. A shaman's education, as the venerable Aki said, lasts his entire life - and maybe longer. At nights, he hires an inn near the square ((if he is allowed to, of course)). It is there that he sometimes sees Ikeira, whom he noticed around the square as well. Upon one such notice in the morning of the third day, he approaches him.

Good morning, honorable sir. I see that you are also involved with this army that is gathering, but you do not look like a warrior. Are you a worker for the camps, a scholar, or perhaps a shaman?

2006-08-03, 04:36 PM

"hmmm an interesting question. ive been called many things, ungrateful brat,dishonor to my ancestors, that wierdo hermit to name a few. I suppose you could call me a scholar, of sorts."

Ikeira continues to smoke his pipe of strange herbs.

2006-08-03, 05:24 PM
Masaya will stay at the inn for the two nights, resting and practicing with his sword.

2006-08-03, 05:51 PM

The Vanara tilts his head, curiousity - and some sympathy - almost oozing off him.

Ungrateful? Disappointment? You do look like a scholar, sir, if not a very wealthy one... Why should your family be disappointed with you, then? Are you from such a noble line that you could not live up to the fame of your ancestors?

2006-08-03, 05:59 PM

" HAHAHAHA. No, my family disowned me, my clan disowned me, all because I followed the call of the elements instead of the path of the samaurai. never was good with people anyway. so whats your story?"

2006-08-03, 06:51 PM
Vrishma looks somewhat alarmed, and confused.

What?? Elemental magic is forbidden here, maybe? But their shugenja-shamans, they often wield the elements... are all adepts shameful? Most curious, most curious. I have seen many priests wield magic, sir; are there some bans you broke to bring shame upon yourself?

Me, I come from the lands of my people, far to the Northwest. The elders of the mountains sensed that the shadows are encroaching, and sent me to see to it that this... Taint... brings no harm to them. So far I've only traveled, I have not done anything else, and now there is this army. Maybe I should sign up, maybe not, I have given my loyalty to the elders and not anyone else. What do you think, sir..?

He makes short pauses as he speaks says, picking his words carefully. The human ways seem strange indeed, and he does not want to cause trouble with an unfortunate phrase.

2006-08-04, 12:13 AM

" bans...hmmmm not really. As a child i never really tried to uphold my family's honor.... I was a child and didnt understand the importance....which unfortunately became more a habit as i grew older. then i ignored my former clans insistance to walk the path of the samaurai...but by then i had found an old hermit to teach me the ways of the Wu Jen..... my family and clan didnt matter as much then and they decided that i should be disowned rather than honored for being accepted on this rarely taken path."

2006-08-04, 12:48 AM

Mekumu stays at the temple meditating and practicing his martial arts. He also reads history books about the area and the history of the shadowlands to learn what he can. Other than that he arrives on the third morning ready to depart.

2006-08-04, 01:31 PM

Vrishma sits down on the porch of the tavern, and chuckles lightly.

This is most strange, this is. Why does your people always insist in making rivers go uphill? If one does not want to hold a sword, and there is no need for a swordfighter, why the need to push him? I am, however, saddened by your tale, good sir, yes I am: leaving a family is never easy.

Now you are going with the army, then? Is it for fame, or right, that you are going, or for money?

2006-08-04, 02:40 PM

Ikeira shrugs his shoulders non commitantly.

" none of the above actually. this looks to be a grand experiment in high level magic....Im curious as to what effect it will actually have and thus am prepared to do everything in my power to see it happen"

2006-08-04, 05:28 PM
((Moving along. I don't like to interrupt the lovely interaction and character building but *shrug* :P))

At dawn, a fanfare awakens all in the plaza. The blaring horns can be heard in the inns, and even as far away as the temple. There is a commotion outside as General Kyo (the Emperor's right hand man and the leading general in this campaign, as well as one of the most honored members of the Lion clan) stands upon a podium, delivering a rousing speech.

"Friends of both Clan and Empire, I greet you on this glorious morning, for today, we go to wage war upon the Shadowlands! We go to rid the Taint from this land forever. With the divine grace of the Emperor on our side, we cannot lose!"

A humongous uproar from the crowd as they all cheer. It is almost deafening.

"Our Shugenja's have been up countless nights, bringing together all the jade that they could find. We have enough for all. Even the earth itself is with us! It's grace is given by way of this wondrous bounty of jade. So come down, all of you, and receive a finger of jade, compliments of the Emperor!

More cheers go up as everyone is handed a finger of jade.

2006-08-04, 06:18 PM
Masaya smiles, but does not cheer with the rest. He takes his finger of jade with thanks.

2006-08-04, 07:32 PM
Vrishma scratches his head, and goes towards the multitude. Signed up or not, he intends to go with them. Besides, free jade is nothing to sneer at: given how alarmed the humans are over the taint, it might be a good idea to have some.

2006-08-04, 08:27 PM

Ikeira waits til last letting all clans and guests go first as is proper for the clanless.

2006-08-04, 10:01 PM

Mekumu also doesn't cheer with the crowds. I wonder if they are being to close minded about this situation. If the Taint and the Shadowlands are defeated they will just find other people to fight and bicker with. I just hope the balance will not become upset.

Mekumu steps forward to receive his finger of jade. He ties it with a string and hangs it around his neck.

2006-08-05, 08:09 AM
General Kyo gives a grandiose wave of his arms and hops onto his horse and begins to ride from the city,the massive horde following him from the city, a traditional fanfare sounding after you all, wishing luck and a successful campaign.

The rest of the day passes by with no problems occuring. Quick stops are made at any town along the way to recruit more volunteers. The size of the army stretches out for miles. Armor glistens in the sunlight. A few days pass, and the army is camped on the road between the village of Minami Chushin and the town of Mizen as the sun sets. The four of you are camped out with a Unicorn Shugenja named Tetsura Miko, her bodyguard Taka, and a Dragon Samurai by the name of Kobayashi Akira. Akira is speaking with Miko around the fire. Taka sits silently at Miko's side, his deeply scarred face eyeing the surrounding darkness suspiciously, his hands firmly grasping his pole arm.

"This army moves slowly," Miko complains.

"Such is to be expected with an army of this size. I am still impressed that the Emperor managed to get so many people. General Kyo could convince a sparrow to launch an assault against a hurricane, and the sparrow would go into battle thinking it could win," responds Akira.

"We have a chance," Miko shoots back. "I wouldn't underestimate a single person in this army. They are all devoted to this noble cause."

"I'm not saying we don't, nor would it matter to me if I thought we didn't. I'm here because my Lord commanded me to be here, and I follow his orders without question. But many of these people have never seen battle before and it is folly to not expect casualties, or intense battles."

((Time for more character interaction, if you would like. Go ahead and talk a bit.))

2006-08-05, 09:04 AM
This army is huge, far bigger than any I fought with in the Spirit wars, even when we destroyed the spirits at Beiden Pass.
Masaya grimaces.
But we are invading the shadowlands, full of Oni and Bakemono, and who knows what else. Will it be big enough? They said we are to cut off the taint at its source, but Fu Leng is long dead and the taint continues. What creates it? How do we destroy it?

2006-08-05, 03:23 PM

2006-08-05, 03:41 PM
Vrishma has been busying himself with a short length of a calico thread that he purchased before he left, on which he attaches the jade piece he got from the recruitment. Having fashioned a durable loop, he tests its strength, then grins widely with satisfaction.

Do not be afraid. She is with me, he says, to the short-lived surprise of his companions, and then gives a series of short hoots. In response, a large, majestic cougar calmly strolls out of the nearby bushes, and comes to him. Ah, here you are, Shimikawa. You look as if your hunt was successful again. Come here, girl, he says with friendship, then he puts the improvised collar over her head, tightening it. Now stay.

The large cat sits on its haunches and yawns as the Vanara takes out his mace, holds the head with both hands, and begins a droning chant. It ends quickly, though, and he puts his weapon back in his pack as he addresses the panther again. ((Cast Speak with Animals)).

Shimikawa, listen carefully. Do not attack any of the humans gathered here, even if they try to hunt you. Stay close to me, and protect any of those here unless they attack me. Also, if you smell an evil spirit or demon, come to me and tug my robe. You understand, right? Good. Did you see anything strange today? ((Anything from a grey goose to humans in ambush, the DM gets to have some fun there)).

Vrishma listens to the cat's growls, then nods and whispers something to her. He continues to sit cross-legged and starts scratching her haunches a playfully, earning a tap to the rear. A quick stream of Vanaran swearwords follows, but then he grins again and begins to rub her more gently. Soon, the puma starts giving a strange, purr-like growl.

I've been wondering my self... May it be that the creatures of the Dark Veil themselves maintain this... Taint, or spread it as they reside somewhere?

2006-08-05, 06:19 PM
Akira is deep in thought in front of the camp fire.

"I've have heard, over the course of these past couple of days, that our destination is the Festering Pit of Fu Leng. I'm not sure what the Emperor hopes to accomplish there, but who am I to question Divinity? That, and I've noticed quite a large wagon that General Kyo and his retainers guard day and night. A tarp is drawn over top of it, so I have no idea what resides within. I tried to get close to find out, and I was quickly run off. Whatever it is, it's important. Nice cat, by the by."

The puma tells you how delightfully blue it found the sky to be today, and that the rabbits it caught were succulently plump. It mentions that it saw glimpses of shadowy figures a few miles from here, but nothing was there once it went to investigate.

2006-08-05, 07:53 PM
As he is sitting, Vrishma starts rocking a little, left and right, left and right,

Hmm, then its contains might prove quite useful in the adversity we are facing, yes they may.... Steel can not cut the dark mist, but the sun can melt it away - but if the sun appears too early, it will have to set when its light is most needed. And yet I wonder. The heavens have senth forth a mighty bull, and its horns are strong - but are his eyes keen, and ears sharp?

2006-08-05, 10:14 PM

Ikeira sits as always just at the edge of the campfire light smoking his pipe. " the spirit festers long after the body dies. It could be that within the pit Fu Leng still resides spreading the taint slowly gaining ground day after day. we shall see when we reach our destination. I expect we will be attacked once we cross over into the tainted lands in so far that they would be able to encircle us. Much trouble ahead I am expecting."

2006-08-06, 12:04 AM

Mekumu firsts unrolls his bedroll and gets something to eat. He returns to the fire with the others and quietly mumbles his mantra while the others talk. He listens intently however, as his mantra is practically second nature by now.

2006-08-06, 09:55 AM
Vrishma yawns slightly, and reaches his hands out to the fire to warm himself. When he speaks, however, his voice is less than relaxed.

Every little monkey brother fears the eagle, in my homelands we say, but the wise one looks out for its shadow. It is shadows I sense nearby, more than can be cast by the fires. Who leads the eyes and ears of this army?

2006-08-06, 11:10 AM
Miko speaks up.

"Which army? This one, or the forces of Shadow? It's hard to say on either count. General Kyo's words are a little to sweet for my liking, a little to cultured and courage inspiring, even for a samurai like him."

Miko looks up sharply, and Taka stands up in a flash, his naginata glowing from the fires light. Your puma begins to growl deep in its throat.

"What was that noise?" asks Akira, alert and on his feet as well, his hand at the hilt of his kitana.

((Listen checks please))

2006-08-06, 12:25 PM
( http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=547786 : 1+4 = 5. Hate you invisible castle)

Vrishma just moves his head, looking curiously:

Think it was just the fire crackling, I do. Perhaps you are just jumping at the shadows, or...

He doesn't quite finish the sentence, catching himself in mid-breath. Suspicious! Old Aki said - if it looks a bit like a lion, and smells a bit like a lion, it's probably not your ragged uncle. He rises, and reaches for the handle of his weapon, but has lost some time in doing so.

2006-08-06, 01:00 PM
Listen Check 6 http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=548074

Mekumu straightens at the sound of the puma growling, but relaxes upon hearing nothing.

2006-08-06, 02:15 PM
(listen 18 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=548350)+2=20.
What does he hear?)

2006-08-06, 02:38 PM

Sitting on the twilights edge has its advantages and disadvantages at times

Listen check 1d20=13 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=548367)

in this case the advantage is to not be close enough to the fire that the fire can drown out sounds from the night....the disadvantage, one is now closer to whatever is closing in on you.

2006-08-08, 09:26 PM
((Apologies for the lack of post-age. I've been out of town.))

Masaya and Ikeira, you both hear the sounds of quickened breathing. Ikeira, you see a shadowy figure slowly pass by you, although you can't catch any of the figures features. Those by the campfire see a figure slowly coming into the fire light. It is a guard. A cruel looking arrow is sticking out of his chest.

"Bak..bake....bakemono," he breathes before tumbling over, dead. Sounds of commotion can be heard from other camp fires around you, as well as some swords beginning to clash. An oni and five bakemono can be seen behind the guard. Ikeira, they don't see you as their backs are two you, but you can clearly make out the five small and one larger figure slowly advancing on those around the fire.

2006-08-08, 09:49 PM

this is going to hurt me alot i think
Ikeira casts elemental burst(earth) at the ground in front of the oni

2006-08-08, 10:30 PM
Mekumu notices the oni and the bakemono. He stands and prepares to enter the fray at the first sign of struggle from his camp companions. "I see the ancestors wish to test us. Fair well my companions." He assumes a crouching stance ever mumbling his mantra under his breath.

2006-08-09, 03:32 AM
((How far exactly are they from us?))

Vrishma bares his fangs, just as the panther does, and takes out his mace again. Down, Shimikawa, and may the Mother Bear grant us her strength! he whispers, then plunges the weapon into the earth. He then starts a loud chant, makes a few obscure gestures, then takes out a few hairs from his sash and clenches his fist around them. Only afterwards does he take his weapon up.

((Cast Bull's strength, shared with the animal companion. If we are using the 3.0 version, http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=553368 )

2006-08-09, 05:46 AM
They are about twenty feet away from the people at the camp fire and about ten feet away from Ikeira. Taka keeps a defensive stance in front of Miko while Akira charges at the monsters and fells a bakemono.


2006-08-09, 06:47 AM
(Init 15 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=553514)+5=20)
Masaya charges the Oni, then whips out his Katana and chops at the Oni's neck in one swift movement (Iiajitsu Focus 1d20=12 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=553524)+6=23, giving +2d6 damage.
Attack roll 17 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=553518)+7=24, damage roll 23 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=553528) as he has FLick of the Wrist as well)

2006-08-09, 02:30 PM
((Initiative = 11 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=554066)))

Vrishma will cast Prayer on his turn ((defensively if need be, concentration roll is 27 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=554070) , )), instruct Shimikawa to guard him, and head towards the closest Bakemono if there isn't one next to him already. The cougar's statistics are as per base except for the bonus from Bull's Strength (if it is still near him). If there is one next to him...Well, no move action this turn.

((Ok, people, whoever has less than 11 initiative, gets themselves a free +1 to saves, attack, damage, and saves, the baddies get -1 to the same ;) Hmm, didn't think there'd be no save for the nerf ))

2006-08-09, 03:01 PM

initiative 1d20=10 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=554123)

2006-08-09, 03:37 PM
((Apologies, initiative and action for the turn))

2006-08-09, 04:21 PM
Mekumu will stay back until the tide of the battle turns. If his companions start to lose he will join the fray. If not he will stand back and let the balance maintain itself.
Initiative Roll 16 http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=554341

How many of us are there?

Are there any other camps nearby in which there is trouble...meaning where the people are outnumbered?

2006-08-09, 04:39 PM

(initiative was 10. not sure if elemntal burst went off before initiatives or after. if before next spell will be hail of stones, else elemental burst spell secret enlarged earth burst on the ground in front of the oni)

2006-08-11, 08:39 PM
((Er, everyone still around?))

2006-08-11, 08:43 PM
(( nope im squared ;D ))

2006-08-12, 12:43 AM
I am

2006-08-12, 12:46 AM
((My fault, been sort of distracted.))

Ikeira, your Elemental Burst goes off, dealing two damage to the Oni and the Bakemono surrounding the Oni. Akira is engaging a bakemono. Taka is guarding Miko who has just finished casting a spell. A fireball goes off, killing a few bakemono and damaging the oni.

You can' tell from here if the other camps are outnumbered or not. You hear sounds of battle, but that's about it.

Vrishma, you attacking a bakemono? If so, rolls please.

((I do hope everyone is still around))

2006-08-12, 08:05 AM
(Did I hit and damage the Oni?)

2006-08-12, 08:49 AM
I will, but that's the next turn already: we may need to mention that somewhere.

So far: 1st turn/surprise round: bull strength, draw weapon, handle animal
2nd turn: prayer, get near a bakemono
Now would be his 3rd turn; what he will do in it is the following: swing at bakemono : attack rating is 16 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=559241) , if he hits the damage is 7 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=559245). Oops... I haven't calculated the bonus from prayer; please add 1 to both rolls; they should actually be 17 and 8. Since he isn't the first on the initiative roster, if someone else kills the bakemono he will take a move action to get to the oni (and attack); if the way is blocked, he will go to another bakemono and attack. You can use the same rolls.

Vrishma lets out a savage cry and swings at the bakemono with his mace, enraged both at the monster and at whoever lets fly the fireballs with such little regard for their party (some sparks have singed his fur).

Edit: please, everyone remember: in the next 4 rounds (and the last one), you have +1 to skill checks, saves, attack and damage. I assume the animal companion will follow me and attack whomever I do (using pounce if appropriate), but with Vrishma's skill in handling animals, it may well attack whomever it chooses. Cyrus, you decide; Do you do the rolls for it or do I?

2006-08-12, 10:16 AM
((You dealt two points of damage to it, Ikeira))

2006-08-12, 03:28 PM
((ummmm Ikeira did not ask that question. the player known as ozzy asked it.))

2006-08-12, 10:44 PM
((I meant Ozzy. Sorry bout that))

2006-08-13, 01:12 PM
(Out of 23 damage I did 2 to it? :o This things hard!)
Masaya sees that his last strike did little damage to it, but he needs to distract the Oni from his comrades. He ducks, and for a second both you and the Oni cannot see him. Then his sword plunges at the Oni as if he has stepped out of thin air, now behind the Oni. How did he get around without you or the Oni seeing him?
(Attack roll 16 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=560899)+9=23 against flat-footed Oni, or 21 if he has blindsight or something, 14 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=560902) damage, or 9 if he has blindsight or something.)

2006-08-13, 01:18 PM
The battle seems to be going well on our end, how about everyone else. Mekumu seeing that the battle at his camp is gong well looks around to see how others are fairing.

2006-08-13, 03:48 PM
((I meant 12, hehe. go ahead and roll for your animal, Vrishma. The elemental burst did two.))

Two of the bakemono are dead. The oni looks a little damaged. He took the full amount of damage from Masaya's second attack. Vrishma, you kill another of the bakemono, leaving two left and an Oni.

The oni attacks Akira with his claws. Akira stumbles back as one of the claws connects. He comes back and misses. A ray of fire comes from Miko and hits the Oni square in the chest. He's looking beat up, but he's still standing. Taka fells a bakemono that was closing in to attack Miko.

2006-08-13, 06:19 PM
((At the moment, I presume that there is no clear line of attack towards the oni. If there is, Vrishma and Shimikawa head towards it with the same tactics as described below))

Vrishma's mace hits the side of the bakemono's head, and he feels the bones shattering underneath the impact. The bakemono gives out a muffled cry and falls to the ground, dying, as the Vanara howls with triumph and battle-fury. In the next moment, however, his eyes focus on the bakemono standing on the way to the oni that seem to want to attack his compatriots as they battle the monster. Vrishma lets out an aggressive snort, and rushes towards the nearest bakemono, gripping his mace firmly. ((Move action: get near the bakemono that is on the way to the oni or threatens any squares along the way. If there isn't one, he rushes towards the oni)).

On the way, however, he is overtaken by a graceful feline form: in the heat of battle, Shimikawa growls with bloodlust and leaps towards the bakemono as Vrishma nears it. The power of the large cat, amplified by the shaman's magic, would be awe-inspiring if any of the onlookers had the time to appraise the situation calmly. As it is, they only see the cougar hit its prey with a powerful "thud", and unleash a whirlwind of teeth, claw and blood.

((Okay, so Shimikawa charges and uses its pounce ability - making a full attack - and will automatically attempt a grapple if it succeeds on its bite attack.

The bite attack (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=561344) has an attack rating of 24 (ok, forgot +2 from charging, but that should hit anyway) and deals 8 damage , and the claw attacks are at ratings of 17 and 14, dealing 6 and 5 damage (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=561353), respectively. If shimikawa attacks the oni, add a further +2 to attacks if it flanks with Masaya or Akira.))

Edit: additional changes:
- Vrishma wields his mace with two hands now (after killing Bakemono #3)
- until its next turn, Shimikawa gets a -2 penalty to its AC because of the charge, reducing it to 13.

2006-08-13, 06:47 PM

Instead of casting another spell, since most of the little creatures are down, raises his crossbow to fire at the oni.

(ranged attack +2 if within 30 feet point blank bonus +2 precise shot negates penalty from firing into melee)

1d20+4=19 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=561390) or 17 if not within 30 feet to hit
1d8=5 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=561394) for damage

2006-08-13, 08:56 PM
((OOC:Not to sound repetitive, but are the other camps around us doing just as well. If not Mekumu will go and help them. His companions seem to have it well in hand.))

2006-08-14, 10:43 AM
((You can't really tell, but things seem pretty well taken care of. Just waitin on ozzy))

2006-08-14, 12:42 PM
Once again, Masaya seems to vanish into the darkness, before his blade shoots out at the Oni again.
(16 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=562299)+9=23 against flat-footed, 12 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=562300) damage)

2006-08-16, 01:45 PM
((Ok... next?))

2006-08-16, 05:34 PM
The last bakemono falls, shortly followed by the oni, felled finally by Masaya. The sounds of battle have pretty much stopped everywhere else, and a recognizable voice can be heard towards the center of the encampment. You recognize the voice as that of General Kyo, although you can't quite make out what he is saying, although cheers go up loud and often.

2006-08-16, 06:11 PM

Ikeira rolls out his sleeping mat and goes to sleep now that the talking is done. He is sure he will be awakened if anything else happens but for now its time to sleep.

2006-08-16, 06:53 PM
Masaya looks around to see whether anyone is injured.

2006-08-16, 08:48 PM
Vrishma gives a wide smile to no one in particular as the battle is won, and scratches Shimikawa behind the ears as he whispers something to her. The cougar goes near the campfire and, with a yawn, sits down. In the meantime, Vrishma goes towards Akira, and beckons to him to come nearer.

The spirits of battle whisper to me of you, Dragon-warrior. You have fought well, much promise you have shown them, and they are pleased with your prowess. Yet as they approve of your bravery, they warn you not to be reckless. Three Broken Blades says that if you continue upon this path, you may need a sword to guard as well. Sit down, and let me minister to your wounds.

((Casts spontaneous cure serious wounds in place of a 3rd level spell "invisibility to enemies." Cures 18 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=566269) points of damage; if it's not enough he will cast another - just let me know.))

He then goes towards the noise, interested in what the human general is so excited about.

((He will listen to what is being said for a while, then go to sleep. I will prepare the spells for tomorrow shortly.))

2006-08-17, 06:10 PM
Akira looks slightly injured, but Vrishma is tending to those wounds, aside from that, Taka looks scratched, but Miko is tending to those.

Those who approach the center of camp can hear Kyo, and he is holding a large oni head in his hand.

"This is the best that the Shadowlands can send at us? Bakemono and some Oni? We have proven our mettle, my comrades, and this is a sure sign of our victory. They can't stop us! We will win!"

Cheers go up around the camp again. He gives a few more rousing words and then bades the camp to go to bed.

2006-08-17, 06:58 PM
Masaya sneers when he hears the general's words, but he says nothing, and goes back to sit by his sleeping mat, meditating.

2006-08-17, 08:56 PM

Vrishma hears a little of what the general is shouting, then decides not to stick until the end. He goes back to the campfire, mumbling softly under his breath in his native tongue.

This human general seems like the wind - full of more bluster than strength, he is. I hope he knows what he is doing... or I may have to leave this army before it is too late. You can't teach a tiger to fly, try as you might. Hmm, I wonder what they guard so carefully... I suppose I should find out, but I am tired tonight.

He takes a large cloak out of his backet, and sets it on the ground, close to the fire, like a mat (alternatively, if the army is well supplied and mats have been provided, he will use it as a cover. Shimikawa still looks a little restless, so he instructs it to guard around - and when tired, sleep close by (Speak with Animals)

2006-08-18, 07:08 PM
((Gleeman, I'm assuming you are going to sleep as well. If you wanted to do something first, we can always address that quickly))

((Apologies for this "cutscene," so to speak))

Weeks pass, more people join the army, and you all find yourselves on the border to the Shadowlands. That night, General Kyo reveals to the army what has been so secretively stored within the cart. It is a massive "ball" of jade, shimmering brightly.

"We march to the Festering Pit of Fu Leng, my brethren," announces General Kyo in his carrying tones.

"This will go into the fountain, and will cure the taint at its source. There are no monsters at the border to the Shadowlands! They are running scared. Let us march to victory!"

With renewed confidence and resolve after a moving speech by General Kyo, the army begins its march into the tainted Shadowlands.

Chaos. Confusion. Carnage. Battle has erupted very close to the Festering Pit of Fu Leng, after a long march without any resistance. Projectiles are raining down from the sky and colliding with the ground in tremendous explosions. Some in the army have given way to the Taint as they turn on their comrades. Your small group has managed to stick together, and it has fallen upon your group to take the device of cleansing to the center of the Festering Pit. You've found out that a humongous orb of Jade, reinforced with potent, high level healing spells, will be put over the fountain at the center of the Pit, and will act as a filter of sorts. Your group of eight finds themselves in a trench leading up to the Pit. An explosion goes off to your right and the wall gives way. Hordes of bakemono and oni pour through the opening, closing in on your position. General Kyo is with you. With a thunderous shout, the general charges into the throng, his katana shimmering in the moon light. Taka and Akira put down the push cart the orb is in to go assisst the general.

A shout from Miko.

"You four, get that thing to the pit. We'll hold this horde off for as long as we can. Just go. Go!"\

((Actions? As an aside, the cart requires the work of two to be pushed))

2006-08-18, 07:15 PM
Masaya pushes against the cart.
Whichever one of you is strongest help push, two pull, and Ikiera blast anything that gets near us! Work, you heimin!

2006-08-18, 07:38 PM

Ikeira does something totaly unexpected......he casts obscuring mists and then helps pull the cart to its destination. all the while he is smoking on his pipe.

2006-08-18, 07:58 PM

The Vanara hisses slightly under his breath, then puts a hand inside his large sash. Don't get yourself killed in this unclean place, humans; do not, or your soul's rest tainted shall be. You, stay close, you should. he says to the others, and gives the cougar a command to follow him. He takes out a handful of salt and sprays it over and around himself, droning a slow, moaning chant as he does so. With the same chant still going, he nears the cart and begins to push.

((Cast magic circle against evil, protective version.
Pushes the cart with a strength of 14))

2006-08-21, 03:28 PM
((Er... bump? Where is everyone?))

2006-08-21, 03:48 PM
((waitin to see what Gleeman will do. We can always move on for now))

2006-08-21, 08:06 PM
((Ah, ok... he hasn't mentioned that he's leaving or something, but if you decide to go on I'm game))

2006-08-22, 09:12 AM
((I will post the next part and then PM Gleeman.))

Most of you pick up the cart and get it moving along the narrow trench you are in. Sounds of battle begin to fade behind you as you move on, but you can all still sense movement around you as you move on. Four bakemono jump into the ravine in front of you, growling and wielding cruel looking blades.

((Initiatives and actions))

2006-08-22, 01:37 PM

Ikeira suddenly bursts into action and casts an ice knife spell at the bakemono in the middle of the pack.

(initiative +0, sudden action feat, target of the spell hopefully has one or more bakemono within the spread damage range of the ice knife)

2006-08-22, 05:59 PM
((Are we in the Shadowlands? As in, do we need to make checks to cast and the like (I don't know if a jade piece helps for this, I admit...) ?))

Ikeira!the Vanara hisses,The barrier should keep these creatures at bay. Don't push your luck too far.

Initiative roll: 7 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=575043)

2006-08-22, 09:01 PM
((The jade does indeed help. (IF the rules state otherwise, which I'm pretty sure they don't, DM house rule, so they do :P))

2006-08-23, 04:42 AM
((OOC: Does the barrier effect of the MC ag. Evil apply to spirits like the bakemono?))

2006-08-23, 10:34 AM
While the bakemono eye the giant glowing ball warily, it seems to have no effect as they advance.

((What are gleeman and Masaya doing?))

2006-08-24, 05:10 PM
((Hmm, Gleeman? Ozzy? You two still around?))

2006-08-26, 11:51 AM
(Sorry, did you not get my PM? I was on holiday for a week. But now I'm back!)
As one of the strongest, Masaya will keep pulling the cart.
Cover my back! If this cart stops moving, we'll be overrun!

2006-08-27, 04:04 PM
((I had PMed Gleeman 1 week ago, asking if he was still in the game. He hasn't answered so far, I would suggest we NPC-play him until then.))

2006-08-27, 10:09 PM
((As a note, I am on vacation this week myself, so I will sporadically be able to get to a computer to update. (I do remember Ozzy saying he was away now that he mentions it. My apologies for forgetting). Just bear with me on this, I will be back Sunday for regular updating.))

2006-08-28, 09:23 PM
((What happened to the ice knife thing, by the way? Did it have any effect?))

Edit: ((Does anyone know the Spirit Tongue?))

2006-08-30, 05:24 PM
((hello? oh and no no spirit language))

2006-09-01, 12:30 PM
((Yeah, I am wondering if the spell was effective to determine if Vrishma should call in the heavy artillery. Anyway, I think Gleeman's PC should be played by the DM for now: just 3 is too few for the situation. Does anyone know where one can get a phrase or two of the "official" spirit tongue, or am I free to invent?))

2006-09-03, 05:44 PM
((You need to make a ranged attack with the ice knife at your target. And apologies for not being around for a week. I'm back now obviously. So roll with the ice knife and roll damage as well, for both a hit and a miss. We'll move on from there.))

2006-09-03, 06:48 PM
((i dont know the damage to roll))


ice knife to hit 1d20+2=12 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=597586)

2006-09-04, 10:33 PM
((As the ice knife missed its target, roll 1d8 ))

2006-09-05, 01:46 AM
ice knife scatter roll 1d8=4 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=599825)

2006-09-07, 08:15 PM
((Well, all of the bakemono failed their reflex saves, so they all die.))

The bakemono fall forward, dead. The way is again clear.

((Time again for a bit of a cut scene. The story will be moving on again, just bear with me, heh.))

You turn one final bend in the trench, and there in front of you is a shallow pool with a fountain at the middle of it. The water is almost black and very sludge like. It comes up to your knees. It gets a bit deeper, too deep for the cart. The orb floats on top of the water, however. Seemingly of its own volition, the orb begins to float towards the fountain, almost as if it were attracted to the fountain in some way.

The orb slides over the fountain. The chaos around you stops. A bright white shockwave ripples out from the fountain. The dark, corrupted scene around you changes to a scene of perfect serenity. Verdant trees blow in the wind. The lake you are in is crystal blue. Birds fly about over head.

Another shockwave ripples out from the orb. This one is pitch black, much blacker than anything any of you have ever seen. The orb cracks, grows dim and explodes outwards in thousands of pieces. All of you are hit with many of them. The scene goes back to its previous chaotic form. All you know is blackness.

You all come to in a brightly lit, white room, although it is a bit bare. There are some doctors around you, looking concerned and a bit frightened.

2006-09-08, 02:19 AM

"who, what, when ,where,why, how, wheres my pipe?"

ikeira wakes up and is groggy and a bit nauseus

2006-09-08, 04:01 PM
Masaya groans, and opens his eyes. Aah, the light! He squints, and looks around. Where are we? Where are my daisho?

2006-09-08, 04:04 PM

The Vanara open his eyes slowly, as if from a long dream. He blinks a few times, trying to realize what's going on, before seeing with the border of his eyesight the doctors scurrying about.

I have not entered the world of my ancestors, I see - not yet, I haven't. he mumbles in a his native tongue, more for his own ears than anyone elses.

He tries to prop himself up into seating position, and take a better look around. While he is still very weak, he notices a few familliar shapes. Ah, the humans are here too... But how did we get here? Was the army victorious?

He means to ask something along these lines, when he looks around again, distressed. Shimikawa? Here, girl!

2006-09-09, 04:37 PM
Vrishma, your pet sits up next to you. She was lying on the floor.

One of the doctors speaks up.

"Your pet is fine, noble Vanara. You all came to us in bad shape. Your clothes were blood soaked and tattered. You four looked like you have been through hell and back. We assumed you were part of the army that was decimated in the Shadowlands. Reports are sketchy, and while many of the Tainted creatures were destroyed, none in the army remain alive aside from you four. And General Kyo. He had a haunted look about him, and he's a but jumpy, but he's back in the Imperial Palace."

2006-09-09, 04:57 PM

Vrishma relaxes, but still has a distraught air about him: the news that there are no survivors is not a welcome one for him. He sighs forlornly, as he lets one of his hands fall to the side of him and starts petting Shimikawa.

Strange the will of the great Spirits is, that we should survive in all the slaughter. Yet their general much guilt has, for many of his warriors could still live but for his short-sightedness.... They all died, have they? Their ancestors proud will greet them, for well they fought. Yet who brought us here, I ask? I did not know there would be a second army coming, I did not. I trust the bodies have been burned, I do?

2006-09-09, 05:40 PM
Masaya stumbles out of bed, and pushes himself up.
Where are my Daisho! he screams.

2006-09-10, 02:05 AM

Ikeira is still searching for his pipe and getting more and more frantic about his searching.

"how long were we out"

2006-09-10, 04:09 PM
The doctors all flinch at the yelling.

"Please," the same doctor speaks up again.

"No one brought you here. You were found on our doorstep. There were a few other survivors, but they have all...died. All of your possessions are in the next room, separated into piles. Now please, you are all still hurt and you need to calm down. When you four first showed up, you were out for a couple of days. You...came to afterwards, but then you passed out again, this time for a good five days. And here all of you are, awake again."

((Sense motive rolls for everyone))

2006-09-10, 05:08 PM
(Sense Motive 19 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=610083)+10=29)

2006-09-10, 06:08 PM

ikeira doesnt bother with sensing motives or even staying put or arguing. he merely gets up and goes into the next room to collect his pipe and his teammates daisho returning with them and setting up what appears to be an elaborate ritual to the elements.

(at least a week while ill requires a reaffirmation of the vows i think and begging forgiveness for tabboos missed while ill)

2006-09-11, 08:12 AM
Ah, my daisho. A thousand thanks for fetching it, heimin. Masaya starts to (feebly) get dressed, scabbarding his weapons. These blades belonged to my grandfather, and to his grandfather, all the way back to the time of the Kami. I would hate to lose them. I am deeply sorry for my behaviour, it was shameful, I hope you can excuse me as I am still weary from the trials we have faced. (If Masaya detected anything from the Sense Motive, he does not bring it up.)

2006-09-11, 08:29 AM
Masaya senses that the doctors aren't being entirely honest, and you get the feeling that they are leaving some important things out about your arrival.

"While you were all unconscious, we noticed these strange markings that each of you have on your left arm. It's right about at your wrist area and we have no clue what they are."

If you look down at your left wrist, you will all see a strange symbol. It is different for each of you ((Something very valuable to you. Example, if you are a samurai, your clan symbol could be encircling your wrist)). The symbol is pitch black.

2006-09-11, 08:31 AM

Sense Motive: 20+4 = 24 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=611059)

Vrishma props himself into a sitting position. While he still feels a little weak, he makes an effort to stand up and appear as if he's doing fine.
It won't do to appear so weak in front of these humans, no it won't; I should not shame Old Man River thus. What's heimin anyway? Just left here, you say? he asks, intrigued.

Edit: When he hears about something on his wrist, he raises his left hand; sure enough, there is a mark visible on his fur and skin. He looks at it with alarm, but also curiosity. Hmm, is this a sign of taint or honor? he wonders, but says nothing.

((If you have an idea for a shaman, let me know. If not, I would presume the mark would be based around a sign for a river, ideally mountain river, or just some symbol for water. His domains are river and animal, but he venerates his river totem more))

2006-09-11, 01:00 PM

once again smoking on his pipe, he glances over at a mirror to check his hair and make sure it hasnt been cut then looks over at the doctors and their nervousness.

" very well now that you have given us the approved of information, leaving out unpleasant information to help us with our recovery, which seems to be a standard practice for healers all over the world, lets have all the information, starting with the explosion of the emporers prized weapon."

2006-09-11, 07:12 PM
Vrishma, you also sense that the doctors are leaving things out. The doctors look uncomfortable.

"Well, when you came to us, you each had these pitch black shards imbedded in your skin in many places. That accounted for part of the blood smeared clothes. We couldn't account for the rest of it. Some of the other survivors talked of demons that invaded the camp and slew all in their path. They disappeared at sunrise.

"And, well, the demons reappeared a few nights after you four arrived. Perhaps appeared is not the right word. Myself and a few others witnessed the four of you....change....into viscious monsters. You attacked and killed the remaining survivors and then at sunrise, you turned back into your normal selves."

The doctors look around uncomfortably.

2006-09-11, 07:50 PM

" so we transformed and started killing. was anyone else attacked while we were transformed or just those of the army that survived and if so how many were tainted? oh and you might want to keep those shards and send them to the chief shugenja of the emporer for study as that is whats left of the emporers weapon against the taint. too many factors to determine why it failed and exploded."

2006-09-11, 08:21 PM

Vrishma looks as if he can't believe these people but the notion of him killing the survivors doesn't look as if sits well with him. He stiffens, and blinks a few times as he tries to comprehend what the others are saying. Half scared, half furious, he almost shouts in the nearest healer's face.

We WHAT? Kii! Haruma's mercy, what are you saying, you strange man, this can't be right! Where are all those black shards, did they disappear? And if we killed so many people, how come we are still alive, and not in chains? And by Anuman's beard just what did we turn into, anyway?

He stops, abruptly, with a strange glint in his eye. Wait... if that, ancestors forbid, happened to us, what happened to the general?

2006-09-12, 02:35 PM
We must see the General immediately. This is all too odd. I am taking my comrades to see the Emperor. Masaya stands, dons his backpack, and strides towards to the door. Out of the way, Heimin.
(So, is Gleeman here?)

2006-09-12, 02:44 PM
((I'm not sure. I pmed him and didnt hear anything back. I'll pm him again. If I don't hear anything, then the story will evolve somewhat. Gleeman's character will have gone missing after the attack and no one has seen any trace of him since. He'll still be around in case he comes back or whatever.))

As you are all about to leave, the doctor runs after you.

"Wait!" he calls.

"There is a very old, very wise man who may be able to help you with this problem. His name is Genki. Many people have called him Genki the Sagacious."

((At this point, roll
knowledge history for those who have it. Those who don't, roll plain old intelligence checks. I will continue on after everyone has posted their rolls and given their responses to this))

2006-09-12, 02:53 PM

1d20+2=11 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=612943) knowledge check

2006-09-12, 04:23 PM
1d20+2 = 7 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=613098)

((I pm-ed him back in August and he still hasn't responded... Any chance we advertise for another character? 3 allows a fast-paced game, but we may miss on a few skills and the like. I know I feel a little weird that my character - a total outsider - mechanically may end up as the best speaker of the group.))

In the meantime, Vrishma has gone to the storeroom to pick his luggage. He sees that his robe hasn't suffered too much, because of the protection of his armor, but he's a little crestfallen because of its wear.

One more thing, where are we right now? I will need to go to a river soon.

2006-09-12, 07:15 PM
(If we do get another character, we'll need a tank. I'm the skill-monkey, and we have an arcane and divine caster, but we all have low HP and AC.)
Knowledge 10 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=613317)

2006-09-12, 11:47 PM
((Well, we'll continue for now, and I'll open up recruitment again))

Ikeira and Masaya, you two have heard the name before, and you know mainly legends. He's purportedly been around for hundreds of years. He has stopped disease and famine, he has cured those who are deathly ill, and from what you've heard, he can apparently travel on the wind.

Vrishma, you have no idea who that person is.

"We applied a jade salve to your wounds, and that helped those markings on your wrist recede a bit. They were making their way up your arm. We haven't been able to fully get rid of whatever that is, however. There was an outbreak of a particularly virulent strain of Plague in a town North of here awhile back. It goes by the name of Bikami. Genki was last seen there. They may have more information for you. Feel free to ask me any more questions."

2006-09-13, 12:03 AM

"no more questions from me, just a favor from a witness. please make sure those shards you pulled from our bodies make it to the emporers shugenja and tell them ' when the weapon reached its destination, it was either too weak or too powerful and so exploded.'"

2006-09-15, 12:06 AM
((Shall we keep going for now? Or are we putting things on pause? It's up to those still interested in keeping this thing going))

2006-09-15, 12:19 AM
(im all for moving on)

2006-09-15, 07:07 PM
((I don't mind moving on... But Vrishma needs to find a river soon. Anyway, we might need a purer "skill monkey" - summons can act as a shield if necessary, but if it comes to locks or bluffing, we may have a problem))

2006-09-15, 10:28 PM
((Well, we have two adds. Well one definite one maybe, so moving on for now. They shall join us in a bit. And there will be a river coming up mighty soon, not to worry.))

"If you take the road north from here, you will come to a road which leads right to the town. As most of my colleagues are very nervous about your presence, I would ask you to leave as quickly as you can. I apologize if that seems rude, but I need to look out for my friends and colleagues along with those that we heal. Best of luck to the two of you."

2006-09-15, 11:07 PM

Ikeira heads out and up the road muttering to himself mostly.
" the fools probably wont tell the shugenja. they dont understand the importance. it will be on thier heads when it is proven that we said something that would have helped and they discounted it."

2006-09-16, 05:52 PM

Vrishma puts the pack on his back, and is ready to go. He has a lot he'd like to ask these healers, but unfortunately they don't look as if they're in the mood to answer. Still, some things need doing.

Well, we should be going then; we do. There is a lot we need to find out, but one remains to do here. Where are the others from the army buried?

((If you want to skip this, ok: basically he will go to the burial site and place offerings to apologize to their spirits)).

2006-09-17, 04:20 PM
((We'll skip over that, hehe.))

As the two of you move out, the sun is shining and birds are chirping. Things seem to be going smoothly. About mid-day, you reach a river.

((Somethin you need to do here, Vrishma?))

2006-09-17, 06:52 PM

Seeing the river, Vrishma sighs and signals to the others.

Some time I will need here, I will. I have not been able to pay due homage for a while now, and the spirits shall most displeased be if this continues.

He sits down the river, and after starting a chant, opens his basket. He puts out some of his rice cakes on a nearby rock, arranging them in a little pile. Afterwards, he takes a bottle of shochu and pours some over them before setting them aflame , then dousing them with water while chanting a sutra dedicating the sacrifice to the spirits. He takes a strong drink and pours the remainder into the river. Then, he takes a medidative posture and seems to fall into a trance.

A gift for you, Gawa no Jijii. Alas, your decree will not be as simple as I had hoped, but I shall persevere.

Only after several minutes does he rise up and pick his belongings, motioning to his comrades that he's ready to continue.

2006-09-17, 07:40 PM

Ikeira waits patiently for the shaman to finish. after all he had to reinstate his own connection. different paths same consequences. when done Ikeira moves on. still smoking on his pipe.

2006-09-17, 08:06 PM
You two make it to the town of Bikami without a hitch. Once at the gates, you are stopped by two guards who eye you with distrust.

"State your business for coming into our noble town of Bikami," says one, barring your path.

2006-09-17, 08:58 PM

" I am Ikeira, a wu-jen. my friend and i were part of the imperial army. something happened and now we seek Genki the Sagacious to help us with what appears to be some sort of curse, at least thats what the healers describe the effects of."

2006-09-18, 12:08 AM
The guards squint at you, suspicion plain on their faces.

"Do you carry some sort of plague? Our town was ridden with plague awhile back. We were hit pretty hard. Genki cleared things up, but no one has seen him in many years."

2006-09-18, 07:05 AM

((Two of us? I take it Ozzy left as well))

Vrishma arches his brow with curiosity at the mention of the sage, but curiosity gives way to concern at hearing he has not been seen for so long.
Gone for years, they say? Finding him may be a problem, then. Still, we should restore ourselves before I can find any answers.

We bring no plague, guardsman. I myself am a healer among my people, and I give you my word, I do. We went on a long journey to combat the Shadows, we did, and now we seek the sagacious sage for his wisdom, so that we fully clean ourselves after our ordeal. We were told he was last seen here, indeed we were, and we came here so we could learn where he may be now. If there is still some taint of the illness in your town, I would be happy to help you, I would.

2006-09-18, 08:16 AM
((You know, off the top of my head, I don't remember if Ozzy is still around. Something is telling me that he isn't, but if you are Ozzy, feel free to post and apologies for assuming you were gone))

2006-09-18, 07:09 PM
((We seem to have picked up two interested parties, so they will be joining us shortly, I think))

2006-09-18, 09:53 PM
((OOC: Just give me the word And I will introduce one of them. C'mon coach, send me in!))

2006-09-19, 01:58 AM
((waiting on the gaurds))

2006-09-19, 07:11 AM
((Oh good call. My apologies))

The guards stare at you suspiciously, but raise their weapons back to their sides.

"Very well. But you will be monitored closely, and if there is any funny business, you will be kicked out immediately."

2006-09-19, 11:02 AM
((I will probably be away for a few days, starting tomorrow. If I do not post later today, could you "drag" my character along or NPC-play him?))

2006-09-19, 02:45 PM

"naturally. it is a comfort knowing the gaurds of this fine town are so dilligent. could you perchance tell us where the inn is?"

once Ikeira recieves directions, he will thank the gaurds and move on to the inn.

2006-09-19, 03:01 PM
(OOC : that My cue?)

2006-09-19, 04:04 PM
((Ok, so I managed to get the time for one more post... I'll let you know when I can continue))

As they walk towards the inn, Vrishma asks Ikeira (if Masaya is there, he will try to keep some distance so he can't overhear).

Wise Ikeira, several times I have heard the word "heimin," I have. I am not sure I understand its meaning... and I have at times felt I was being addressed with it.

((After the reply, he will probably make some small talk for the time being.))

2006-09-19, 05:37 PM
((Your cue is coming, sir, and you shall know it by the shedding of blood and the public outcry...I'll also inform you as to when you can hop in))

"We have a few inns in town. There are two old codgers, named Akio and Daisuke who hang around the Graceful Crane all day, nursing their drinks and arguing over facts about Genki the Sage. That may be your best bet to finding him, although I wouldn't hold up much hope. Follow this main road to the middle of town, and a bright blue building will be on your left. That is the inn you are looking for."

The guards keep eyering you as you walk by.

2006-09-19, 08:03 PM

Ikeira leads the way to the mentioned inn.

((honestly i cant answer vrishma's question as i myself no not the answer))

2006-09-19, 08:53 PM
((Heh, then let Vrishma know either vocally or with gesture. Don't say out of game that your character doesn't know something. Say it in game :))

The inn is easily found as it stands out, shining brightly in the afternoon sun. The inn is deserted save for two old men sitting at the bar, in heated debate. Despite the words they are using, smiles are on their faces. The bartender has a look of annoyance and acceptance on his face as the two argue.

"I'm telling you, Akio," the one says. "Genki was a man of the Empire. He didn't just help villages and towns in need, he lead great warriors into battle against the mighty foes of the Shadowlands."

"He was a man of the people, Daisuke," Akio responds. "After helping out our meager town, for free I might add, he went into the mountains to live a life of conclusion and contemplation, far away from the vices and machinations of the Empire and that serpent General Kyo."

2006-09-20, 03:03 AM

ikeira motions to the barkeep signaling for a full round of drinks. he also flashes the inkeep gold coins from his purse. then he takes a seat at the table with the two old men.

(i ment me personally dont know so i cant have ikeira say he tells virishma without knowing if its positive or negative or both)

2006-09-21, 12:03 AM
The two old men look and you and bow politely.

"Pull up a stool, young un's," says Akio. "May I ask what has brought on such an appreciated and welcome act of charity?"

2006-09-21, 10:42 AM
(I'm sorry I haven't been posting, but I got hit by a van. Assume that Bayushi Masaya has been following the other two, keeping silent, and he sneaked into town using his, um, Monk skills ;) so as not to bear the dishonour of being questioned by the guards. BTW, Heimin is the peasant caste, as opposed to the warrior/noble caste, most people in Rokugan are Heimin. As a member of the warrior caste, in his case of the Bayushi family of the Scorpion clan, Masaya is unlikely to call either of the two spellcasters by their names until he knows them better.)

2006-09-21, 10:56 AM
(Holy crap dude, are you okay? ...Well, I mean, assuming that you;re posting and all that means you're not grviously hurt.. I think. You doin' allright?)

2006-09-21, 01:26 PM

retro: answering virishma

" it means peasant class, roughly. he is using it in terms of respect though which is a statement that he doesnt know us well enough to use our names."

in the inn

" a bit of freindliness never hurts, especially since the two of you happen to jjust have been discussing something we are very much interested in. that being where we can find genki."

2006-09-21, 05:06 PM
((Ouch... I hope you recover well. Anyway - I'm back))

Hmm, it seems a little... disrespectful, that it does. One's name is a precious thing, not to be sidelined lightly, Vrishma said.

Once in the tavern, he looks around curiously. No matter how long he is aroung humans, they never stop being interesting. He opens his mouth, but Ikeira beats him to it.

2006-09-21, 06:19 PM
(I'm reasonably OK. I got back from hospital today. Not much I can do but sit and use the ol' computer. Thanks for asking though.)

2006-09-21, 11:55 PM
((Yeah dude, I hope everything goes well. Speediest recoveries to you, sir.))

The two old men look at each other as if Christmas has come early.

"Where he went after he left here is pretty easy," Akio says. "Whether Genki is still alive or not is something else. Not to mention tackling the mountain. Genki was ancient when he came to save our town, and I was no more than fifteen at the time. His last known location was an abandoned temple up in the mountains, about a four days journey almost due north of here. The temple is actually a lot closer than that, but scaling the mountain in this cold weather is...tricky at the least, deadly at best."

"I believe Nobutada takes people up that way. He usually mines for gold near there," says Daisuke. "He's a bit of a scoundrel, but he can be trusted to take a group to where they want to go...for the right price. He knows those mountains better than anyone in town right now."

2006-09-22, 10:46 AM

Vrishma listens to the old men with interest, and pops with a question as soon as they stop speaking.

Abandoned temple, you say? Most strange, this is. What would the sage Genki want with an old ruin?

Edit: ((Damn, I forgot to mention it: Vrishma left the kitten out of the village so as not to freak everyone away. He tends to do so unless he has a good reason to believe he will need her.))

2006-09-23, 10:46 PM
((That's fine))

Akio and Daisuke look at each other. Akio speaks up.

"No one truly knows the mind of Genki. We think he traveled up there to live a life of solitude among books and spirits, but we disagree as to why he chose to live in solitude. That is what we were discussing when you two came in and spread some money around most generously."

2006-09-24, 02:09 AM

"well then it appears our next move is to find this gold hunter and convince him we need to get up the mountain."

2006-09-24, 03:43 PM

The Vanara is still not persuaded, apparently. He pouts - a strange gesture for his face - and lets out a prolonged "hmmm," before nodding to Ikeira.

Perhaps, sage Ikeira, but there may be something else to do. We should inquire about where this guide lives, we should. Not to mention stock up on supplies. But first thing first. He turns to the old men agian. Please excuse me, elder Daisuke, and elder Akio, but could you remember someone in town to whom the venerable Genki spoke?

2006-09-24, 04:44 PM
"As we said, we were young lads at the time, so any town elders Genki spoke to are long gone by now," Akio says.

"I believe Nobutada doesn't come back until tomorrow," the innkeeper speaks up. "We have open accomodations at a cheap price here, if you wish to wait for him."

Akio and Daisuke chuckle to themselves.

2006-09-24, 05:47 PM
(BTW, Masaya is here, he just isn't saying anything. Talking to Heimin is the job of Heimin after all.)

2006-09-24, 08:44 PM
The swishing of the curtain over the door heralds a new patron to the inn as she enters.

A woman, hardy and stout looking shows up wearing hakama and a dougi of a samurai, but unlike respectable bushi hers are threadbare and well worn. Her sandals are even *worse*, looking as if they were made around the same time this lady was born. The hakama are black (and dusty) but the woman's tunic looks to be of dark gold that has faded with the wear.

As undignifiying as it seems, she apparently doesn't give two shakes about it, strolling into the inn with a samurai's (or at least a swordsman's )practised gait, head held high...

...and in one hand she's carrying a pair of fresh rabbits that look to have been slain recently. Quite an odd woman, who doesn't appear to have qualms about getting her hands dirty.

"Oy, Innkeeper! I've come to barter for food and lodging"

2006-09-24, 08:47 PM
Akio and Daisuke look to one another and then turn back to the three of you, trying very hard to ignore the woman. The innkeeper eyes the woman, mistrust plain on his features, yet he approaches her.

"Certainly. What kind of room and drink will you be needing? And do you need to kitchen to cook those up for you?"

He asks this last part with a tone of disgust as he watches the rabbits.

They'd better not drip onto my floor. My servants spend a long time making this floor spotless.

2006-09-24, 08:55 PM
The woman adjusts the katana strapped on her back with a shifting of her shoulders... and while you'd expect a cheap blade like the rest of her accutrement, it's stunningly beautiful. Burnt Red silk is wrapped over the grip and the hilt looks to be of gold and silver; amazing that she's kept something like it despite the rest of her appearance...

However that may only interest those with a good eye or another warrior, and she's not interested in it either, more concerned with something else.

"A simple room with enough space to lay down is all I want-- and some tea-- but you can make do with the rabbits yourself if you wish to give me just rice and vegetables; I've had my fill of their meat for days now..."

2006-09-24, 11:12 PM

ikeira pays for the lodgings for the night.

as the warrioress enters he smiles.

"oh look mayasa-san someone you would consider worthy of talking to."

2006-09-25, 09:29 AM
((Alright, if you want some interaction, go ahead with it now. Otherwise, I'll be moving this along))

2006-09-25, 11:37 AM
Masaya flashes a quick grin at Ikiera, at odds with his normal character, and turns to the woman.
He gives a small bow, suitable for a samurai not sure of another samurai's station.
Good day to you, lady...?

2006-09-25, 12:17 PM

The woman looks confused as she hands off the rabbits to the reluctant innkeeper and then towards Masaya, with the look of someone who rarely, if ever, is treated as an equal or superior.

She's quick on the uptake, however and returns the bow, possibly a little lower than his, however in turning to face him, the Scorpion may note that she only has that one magnificent looking katana, and not a daisho.

Oh, hello. It's been an age since I last saw another samurai...But I can assure you... Honorable Scorpion--" she took an oddly long moment to refer to him by clan, as if she'd forgotten which were which... I'm no lady of import. I am called Masumi, and my trade is instruction of swordsmanship...

2006-09-25, 05:16 PM

Vrishma pays for his lodgings and asks where he can get some extra rations for the journey ((How much would a night and 3 extra rations cost?))

As he does so, he asks the innkeeper. Master innkeeper, is there anything going on with this town, is there, that we can be of use with? Quite late it may be, it may, but until tomorrow it would be good if we could keep ourselves busy with.

((Basically, I want to see if there is some small-scale matter which he could do - healing, small excorcism, the like which can be solved without too much fuss and could earn a meal or two. A shaman's work is never done, alas.))

2006-09-25, 08:06 PM
Well, allow me to introduce myself, I am Bayushi Masaya.
(In case you're not too familiar with Rokugan, the Bayushi are the warrior family of the Scorpions, famed for their lack of honour.)

2006-09-25, 08:20 PM
Masumi seems to not register the factoid as she takes a seat at a nearby table, calling for a basin of water to wash her hands with of the innkeeper politely and motions for Masaya to join her. She looks evenly at him yet what her tone implies with her next hopeful statement seems to imply that she's in need of information..

"Well, Bayushi-san, I must admit I haven't seen another samurai for sometime. Anything interesting happening in the capital these days..?"

2006-09-26, 05:52 AM
Well Masumi-san, I hear General Kyo returned from his invasion of the Shadowlands. His entire army was decimated, only a handful of survivors.

2006-09-26, 07:47 AM
The real surprise comes up, as Masumi's reaction indicates that she's been away for QUITE some time...

General..*Who*? What's been going on that such an attempt would be made?"

2006-09-26, 04:44 PM
((I'm liking the character interaction, so keep it going if you like. Story progression will move on when all are ready.))

The innkeeper brings over a basin of water.

"Your rice and vegetables will be out in but a few minutes, Lady Masumi," the innkeeper says, bowing slightly.

The innkeeper comes over to Vrishma next.

"If you are a holy man of sorts, there are many who could use a few comforting words, maybe a little healing if you have the skills to do so. I'm not trying to imply that you are inept, I just have little knowledge of Shamans."

The innkeeper bows to to Vrishma and then proceeds into the back to check on the food. Akio and Daisuke continue to drink at the bar, very obviously trying hard to look like they aren't paying attention to the conversation happening between Masaya and Masumi.

2006-09-26, 06:19 PM
((What's the time of day at the moment?))


The spirits have seen fit to lend me their power, they have, so they expect me to use it, Vrishma says, quietly. Is there anyone in particular that would be in need of healing here?

2006-09-26, 07:01 PM
Masaya lifts one eyebrow, but otherwise gives no expression of surprise.
Kyo was one of the Emperor's best generals. I don't know if you have heard how the Crab lands have been shrinking, there were more and more raids from the Oni, so they raised a huge army. I'm surprised you weren't approached by any recruiters, all the noble houses were sent messages asking for representatives to fight for their honour. The army set off for the shadowlands, carrying some sort of secret weapon, which the Imperial Shugenjas believed would be able to cleanse the taint completely. I admit I had doubts about this, even after Fu Leng was killed the taint remained, how can it be cleansed? But anyway, the army fought its way into the Shadowlands, and was not heard of again. A few weeks later the general and a handful of soldiers were found, the rest of the army presumably destroyed.
Masaya looks away.
This army was huge, I fought in the Spirit Wars and it was bigger than the forces brought to bear then, and those were not by any means wiped out. All those men dead... it will have a severe impact on the Empire. How many of my clan brothers lie dead, or risen in the form of the tainted undead, there bodies never to lie in honour with the ancestors?Masaya stares into space.
I haven't talked about this before, I've been holding it in, I'm afraid I haven't been good company to my two companions. But it hits you hard... I'm sorry to tell you like this, but you need to know. I presume you've been travelling or something, when yuou return home you may well find your clan brothers and sisters gone, never to return.

2006-09-26, 07:26 PM
Masumi seems to keep her pokerface as she looks at Masaya intently with her oddly golden eyes. However, she seems... distant, if not sad to hear about any loss of fellow clansmen.

I've been in the hills, actually, on a ....spiritual quest to hone a sword of a different kind... And ronin aren't known for having many clansmen... She states noncomittedly, washing her hands and then letting some water drop into the twin plaites of hair on either side of her neck, haning down to her solar plexus...

In anycase this is disturbing news, I'm afraid... The last thing I expected...Though I may be needed if sword instructors suddenly come in more demand..."

2006-09-26, 07:34 PM

Ikeira looks over at the self proclaimed ronin and does something he normally doesnt, intrudes on the conversation.
"Did you learn well from our feathery neighbors, or are you one of our feathery neighbors?"

2006-09-26, 07:42 PM

Vrishma's eyes twitter for a moment as he registers the new language. He looks sideways slightly, feigning disinterest - just a strange human speaking a strange language, that's all.

Tengu around here? Strange - there weren't many back in our mountains, certainly, and they were supposed to prefer the Northern lands. Strange, but possible. This woman is a solitary warrior, she is - or seems to be. Not the most cunning disguise, but it could be a passable one.

2006-09-26, 07:47 PM
The female ronin turns and blinks. Before he head tilts causing the plaits to sway. What did you just say?..

edit: OOC she has NO idea what you were saying. Not a tengu. :P

2006-09-26, 07:53 PM

"Just curious most whom seek the tengu learn their language. If you dont understand what im saying then your just a commoner like me with no family and no honor, or else your good at acting. so are you or are you not tengu?"

((ooc feeding a ton of berries to the tonberryking despite the warning sign of dont feed the tonberry king))

2006-09-26, 07:56 PM
Masumi can only look confused and a little cross at Ikeira and he's lucky because otherwise she may have struck him down on the spot. She clearly has no idea what he's saying...

2006-09-26, 08:00 PM
Ronin? I see. Masaya does not seem particularly shocked, or as disapproving as you would expect from a Samurai.
If you don't mind me asking, what is your full name? Oh, and don't worry about my companion, he's a Wu Jen.

2006-09-26, 08:01 PM

"It was nothing important, just a couple of phrases that would have made any tengu respond imediately. they do tend to be good swordsmanship instructors, if you can win them over to improving your skill."

2006-09-26, 08:05 PM
"It's better off I didn't tell you, Bayushi-san...and 'let sleeping dogs lie' as it were. And who needs a tengu when you have me?" She laughs humorlessly for a moment.

2006-09-26, 10:21 PM
((It is about 4 o clock))

The innkeeper brings out your food, still looking slightly uncomfortable, but bows again after setting the food down on the table.

"Just yell if any of you need anything else," he says.

((And let's not worry too much bout money for rooms, unless you have only a little. It's a few silver pieces for a night, and I forget the money on a supply of trail rations))

2006-09-26, 10:59 PM
(I'm the only one who has to worry, as Masumi has absolutely NO money. :P)

2006-09-27, 02:18 AM

"Oh the tengu arent so bad, once you get past their collective xenophobia and win their trust. What do you think Masaya-san, could we use her skill on the road to see genki? If so you can tell the inkeep we will pay for her nights lodging and food above what she has already traded for, as a gesture of good will of course."

Ikeira then turns back to the two old timers and buys another round taking one for himself, joining in thier discussions of genki with rumors he remembers.(hey i may have heard some they didnt.)

2006-09-27, 08:55 AM
I see no reason why not. How about it, Masumi-san, do you wish for an adventure, to develop your swprdsmanship further? We are going to look for an old sage called Genki, and there may be bandits or monsters. What appears to be two scholars and a warrior would be a far more tempting target than two scholars and two warriors.

2006-09-27, 09:19 AM
"You're being rather charitable to a vagabound you've just met... Masumi adds cautiously before tucking into her food (it may not be noticable but she's holding back just how ravenous she is at the moment...).

...However, I can'tkeep bagging rabbits to pay for expenses, so I shall come with you for at least until I'm stable enough to repay your generosity..."

EDIT: realized half the post was missing and added it. ._.

2006-09-27, 11:19 AM
Frankly it is not charity, we need another blade. My two companions are magic users, with great skills yes, but if we are ambushed by warriors, or perhaps some sort of magic-resistant monster, I would not be able to defend them myself. And as you can see, I wear no armour.
Masaya smiles.
Thankyou for agreeing to join us.

2006-09-27, 05:54 PM

Vrishma exchanges a few more words with the innkeeper, before going over to the others' table ((Did he get an answer to his last question?)), bringing a plate with rice and vegetables. As he picks a piece of radish with his fingers, a wide smile grows on his face as his lips part to show snow-white teeth.

Of course, the more the better. We are not so destitute, nor so wicked to shy away from another comrade. Together let us be, united, and achieve great feats we shal, like the five champions of Hanuman. By the way, Masaya - so why don't you wear any armor? You're quick and agile, yes you are, but it can't be that a leather mail would slow you so much. The war-spirits are fickle lot indeed; you never know when your opponent may land a lucky blow.

2006-09-27, 06:37 PM
((No, so I'll answer that now))

Vrishma, you find out from the innkeeper that the people most in need of help generally hang out in the town square, not forty feet from the entrance to where you are now.

((If this is all you are doing for now, I'm going to move along. If you want to interact more, by all means do that. Or if you have other things you need to do. Otherwise...))

Will saves for Masaya, Vrishma and Ikeira

2006-09-27, 06:45 PM
(I'm done on my end after this...)

I don't wear armor either...Save for these... Masumi taps a brass pair of bracers on her arms with a curvacious form of calligraphy carved out in the form of wards...

I find it to be too bulky and a hassle to keep track of... But I can assure you it's not problem for me.

2006-09-27, 06:55 PM

willsave 1d20+4=21 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=642187)

2006-09-28, 10:07 AM
I do the same. Masaya pulls back the arms of his kimono to show two ornate black bracers, engraved with scorpions and crescent moons.
With armour, I would be much slower, and my fighting style relies on speed. But yes, it does make me more vulnerable, although not as much as you might think, as I was trained as a monk before I was trained as a Samurai. He turns a curious eye to Masumi. But the fighting style I favour is rather unusual, common only among we Scorpions. Why do you do the same, Masumi? I mean, magical bracers are extremely expensive, you would have to be fantastically rich to be able to afford bracers that give the same protection as great armour. My own bracers give only the same protection as padded leather.

(Will save 19 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=643674) )

2006-09-28, 01:03 PM

Vrishma tilts his head in a curious gesture and he strokes his beard. He is chewing another piece of radish in what could, technically, be described as meditative interest, if it wasn't done with half-open mouth.

Monks, you say? Like those strange men who used to train in the nearby valleys, in Dragon lands, you were? Some of them had really interesting pictures on their skin, but the painters must have been strange in the head. You should have seen what passed for a lion among them, you should. Anyway, I thought they weren't allowed to shave their heads, I did. You leave before they would start painting on you, did you?

((Will save: 10 + 5 =15 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=643839)))

2006-09-28, 01:48 PM
"Come come, Bayushi-san, you aren't asking a woman to reveal all her secrets, are you? I've found a way around having to use armor, but these nonetheless help me out....

Masumi speaks noncomittedly... You get the feeling that her honor code is keeping her from outright lying to you or leading you astray, but she obviously isn't about to lay all her cards down on the table, as she finishes her meal and goes about pouriung tea for herself (and Masaya...).

2006-09-28, 05:56 PM
Masaya grins. Perhaps you are secretly a Ninja, Masumi-san!
(For those of you not too familiar with Rokugan, there isn't actually a Ninja class, but there is a Ninja Spy prestige class. They are however, very rare, they are largely a myth.)
Vrishma, those were the Dragon monks, not all Monks are the same. The tattooed sect is the most common, but there are many monastic orders all over Rokugan. I was trained in a different one, but then my older brother died, and so my father needed me to become a Samurai.

2006-09-28, 08:11 PM

Vrishma grins, although a little after Masaya's joke. Masaya seems much more gregarious today, indeed he does... I wonder if it is because he is in female company today?. If it's so, we should definitely take her with us, yes we should. I was starting to tire of his sullen mood!

2006-09-28, 08:57 PM
((Oh, by all means continue with character interaction. Everyone, you all have very good characters, and thus far it's been quite a privelege to provide you all with this campaign. I hope you are all enjoying it ;D))

2006-09-29, 02:44 PM
(What territory are we in, anyway?)

Masumi finishes off her tea and sets down an empty vessel before glancing sidelong at the trio of adventurers...

"So what quest are the three of you on, lately?"

2006-09-29, 04:45 PM
To find a sage named Genki, to help us. You see, my companions and I have been infected with a magical disease. Don't worry, it's not contagious. Anyway, this Genki guy was a famous healer, so we're going to try and find him, if he's still alive. He was last seen at an old temple, about 4 days walk from here, in the mountains. Apparently, there's a guy around here who can take us there, Nobu-something. So we're going to get him to take us to this old temple.
Masaya grimaces.
But as I said, who knows what sort of monsters dwell in the mountains. Could be Yetis, or something. So that's where you and your sword come in. Anyway, you still haven't explained about the whole armour thing. It's just comfort? Of course, you are a woman he says with a grin, but it seems odd to risk your life for comfort. I still think you must be a ninja! That would explain why you won't tell us anything about yourself.

2006-09-30, 09:41 AM

Vrishma scratches his chin, giving Masaya a pondering look. I can't believe that out of so many warriors we couldn't meet one who didn't like to be a little protected, I can't. Am I the only one who sometimes worries about his safety?

What's the deal with you and ninjas, Masaya? The humans that came to our village up in the North sometimes mentioned them, indeed they did, but I always thought they were just superstitions, or oni. Are you implying miss Masumi is some kind of a monster? he says with a wink.

2006-09-30, 10:29 AM
You would think that the 'disease' threat, however unlikely would have bothered Masumi but she keeps a rather even looking expression on her face.

"You don't say... Well, it's a cause worth enough to warrant my joining you but if you infect any student I may try to pick up I'll be quite cross... And please, Bayushi-san, do not ask me again; there's nothing more I'll say of my armaments, save but that I am no ninja."

She actually seems a little bit irked at being considered such, but doesn't mention it... verbally.

2006-09-30, 12:27 PM
Vrishma, I'm just teasing her. Ninjas are a story, they are apparently these stealthy warriors who can walk up walls, spit poison, go invisible, and so on. Anyway, Masumi-san, if you don't want to discuss it then we won't. I'm sure that you understand I just need to be sure that you'll be an effective fighter.

2006-09-30, 03:30 PM

Vrishma doesn't seem to be convinced by Masaya's explanation, and he shows it. His tone is polite, as he does not want to offend the samurai, but he doesn't believe the offhand explanation.

Really? There be a tradition of hunters called vanaprajara, protectors of the forest, among my people. The spirits of nature have blessed them with many powers, they have, and what you say is hardly impossible. I have heard that such guardians exist here, too - you call them rangers, you do. A few times did my ears hear mention of those ninja around the campfires here and there, indeed I have, so when you talked of them I thought you may have more knowledge about them.

Anyway, he says, hoping the conversation won't get sour from there on, our road beckons, and long it may be. Do you have any more particular supplies that you need, before we meet it tomorrow?

2006-10-02, 09:32 AM

2006-10-02, 12:13 PM

(as much as i like the interaction as well i think its time to move on)

Ikeira spends a few more hours gathering information about genki and their soon to be guide from the old men. then retires for the night.

2006-10-02, 02:48 PM

((If we're through here, Vrishma will walk around town and see what's up. He would probably visit the town healer/herbalist/shugenja to present himself and inquire if there is any assistance he can give. If there are any people that may need his help, he'd probably aid them to the best of his knowledge. Afterwards, he'd buy various spell components and order some provisions - say, 2-3 portions. Cyrus, if you don't want to trouble everyone, you could PM what happens.))

2006-10-02, 03:52 PM
Masumi politely excuses herself to the room she bartered for and... goes to sleep! Really, she was actually quite tired and put herself down for a long nap, sword cluthed to her chest as if it were a child's favorite toy. Of course Nobody is around to see this. ...Right? _

2006-10-03, 12:27 PM
(OOC:*Pokes with stick* ...We didn't use up our roleplaying with that last bit, did we?)

2006-10-03, 12:59 PM
((no but this is the point at which the game started dying last timearound so i want to move on))

2006-10-03, 04:39 PM
((I just wanted to see what Ozzy would do)).

Whoever was asking about healing (apologies for not remembering who), the local healer is a bit of an elderly man who uses basic herbs to heal wounds. There are many who are sick (from poverty or destitution more than anything else) and can be tended to easily.

((If that's all...moving on. And good rolls on those saves, hehe))

Vrishma, Masaya, and Ikeira, you three have strange nightmares while you sleep. You feel somehow deeply dirty (perhaps Tainted would be a better word :P) and you all have these visions of seeing through the eyes of massive, hulking monsters who are chasing down faceless villagers and either ripping them to shreds or devouring them in about ten bites. All three of you awaken in a cold sweat, and if any of you care to look at your left arm (where the "tatoo" is) which feels like it's being scorched from the inside out, you will notice that traces of the tattoo have moved up your arm a bit (think Prince of Persia: Two Thrones if you've ever played it).

2006-10-03, 07:15 PM

Ikeira guesses that they just suffered through a transformation and calculates the time between the last one at the healers and this one, then packs up and heads downstairs smoking his pipe to study his spells again.(note comparing time between transformations and assuming that they transformed in the shadow lands to try to figure out an interval of transformation)

2006-10-03, 07:15 PM
((Can I post again now?))

2006-10-03, 08:51 PM
((Yes indeed. I'm just waiting on the other two before proceeding))

2006-10-03, 09:10 PM
Masumi yawns with unladylike clarity as she comes into the bar room well rested and looks about for the innkeeper to badger.

"Oy, Innkeeper... Might I have some morning tea before you're rid of me again?"

2006-10-03, 10:11 PM
You come down the stairs, but the innkeeper is nowhere to be found. If you wander into the kitchen, you won't find anyone there, either. There is, however, a bit of a commotion going on outside.

2006-10-03, 10:16 PM
Curious, Masumi looks out the doorway to see what the commotion is, moving on the faith that she hasn't been left behind by the others.

2006-10-04, 01:53 PM
((Just waitin on the others))

2006-10-04, 02:49 PM

Waking himself up with a start, Vrishma looks at his hand as the tattoo-like coloration catches his eye easily. He sits up, seriously worried, and tries to pluck at his memories for what exactly is its significance.

((Cyrus, let me know what roll would be involved, or roll yourself: my sheet is at http://www.sylnae.net/3eprofiler/view.php?id=30178 )

Afterwards, he puts on his clothes and goes downstairs. He wants to meditate in order to prepare his mind for the day's ordeals, and more importantly, check if the taint has affected his connection to the spirits.

Good morning to you, miss Masumi, he greets her, politely, as he sees her downstairs. I trust you slept well, I do. Is there something the matter her, I ask? he says, nearing the door and peeking out.

2006-10-04, 09:17 PM
((Go ahead and roll just a plain intelligence check. As soon as we have a post from Ozzy))

Ikeira, you don't see at this point what sort of significance there is or pattern at this stage.

2006-10-05, 05:59 PM
((Anyone hear from Ozzy? I just pmed him, so we'll see what's going on. Incidentally, we have another interested party in this campaign. What say all of you to another person joining us?))

2006-10-05, 06:08 PM
(not a problem... And ozzy was in a kinda poor health state, so I imagine he's still with us but may not be able to post...)

2006-10-05, 06:58 PM
((the more the merrier i always say, "sure whats one more boadb going to hurt"))

2006-10-06, 12:47 AM
((I had taken that into consideration. Perhaps physical therapy or what have you. Alright, I'll let that other guy know that he can join if he still likes))

2006-10-06, 09:26 AM
((bummer - and I was so proud of his knowledge skills. Oh well, here goes nothing: 1 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=663315)+2 = 3. Did I mention my opinion of Invisible Castle and its malicious intentions towards my characters?))

2006-10-06, 11:02 AM
((Heh, well sadly, you can't place any significance to the transformations other than that it's happened at least once or twice))

((Point of clarification. You aren't actually sure if you changed into monsters or not. It may have just been an extremely vivid nightmare. None of the three of you have any blood on you or in your room. Anyone who wants to get somewhat an idea of what happened, roll a sense motive check. As Ozzy may not be able to do things right now, but I sincerely hope that he is ok, we'll move on for now, unless everyone wants to wait until this new guy joins us.))

2006-10-06, 03:57 PM
(Wait, wait, I'm here! I'm really sorry, but I moved to uni on Sunday, and I had loads of problems setting up the internet through the really stupid and ultra-secure, ie very complicated, routing service. But I've got it now!)
(Intelligence check 19 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=664117))
Masaya walks down the stairs, stifling a yawn. Good morning, all! How are you today? Sleep well? He gives a meaningful look at Ikiera and Vrishma.

2006-10-06, 11:05 PM
((And what is the intelligence check for? I figured you were around))

As you come down the stairs, you notice everyone else's focus is directed outside towards town square. You can't really make much out from the crowd, but the water in the town well looks tinted red.

2006-10-06, 11:12 PM
Masumi ambles into the crowd, not shoving her way but slides around with predatorial ease, not liking this in the least. She seems to be heading to inspect the water..

2006-10-07, 07:50 AM
As soon as Masumi is gone, Masaya sidles up to Ikiera and Vrishma.
The mark on my wrist has moved up a bit in the night, and I had weird nightmares. Are you two alright, or did something similar happen to you?

2006-10-07, 02:06 PM

"something similar yes. Hazarding a guess from facts we do know id say there might have been a transformation....at least in the spiritual realms if not physical. we may have held it off tonight but this is to soon to determine an exact pattern, or triggering conditions. shall we go see what the fuss is. any information about what happened last night would be useful to genki to help us figure out what is happening and why, but more important how we stop it."

Ikeira then moves out the door to see what is happening at the well.

2006-10-07, 03:38 PM
Masumi follows him (with an ear out to hear Vrishma if he replies, of course), hand on the hilt of his katana, making sure the arm of his kimono covers his wrist, obscuring the mark.

2006-10-08, 06:52 AM
((Anyone else have problems over the past few days connecting? Also, our interested party can't find his books. Anyone know of a place to look *gasp* online?))

2006-10-08, 07:14 AM
(Yeah, I had to submit that last post 5 times before it worked yesterday. Seemed to be a bandwidth problem. Not sure if its fixed now or if its working fine because its like 6 o'clock in the morning in Colonial Land at the moment.
What books does he need? The d20srd has the basics, if he needs other stuff I'd recommend peer-to-peer links like Limewire or Bit-torrent. If you already have the books, it is legal to get them on pdf from such places.)

2006-10-08, 09:28 AM

((Sense Motive check to remember about last night 19 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=667643)+4=23, untrained))

Yeeees, Vrishma says, his brows furrowing. Bad things I dreamed of, indeed I did, then stops himself hurriedly. Was it really a dream? He walks out and tries to pass through the crowd, apologizing politely whenever he bumps into people, but tries to keep his elbows in and the markings obscured. He goes near the water, and his nose wrinkles.
This is not good, it isn't.

2006-10-08, 04:17 PM
Vrishma, you don't know how you know, but you are certain neither you have committed the crime before you, although you can't say for your party members (I will be getting to the scene in a second).

In the blood stained pool before you, are the bodies of a few villagers, maimed and otherwise torn open in many places. It appears to be a family. A man, woman and two young children (one boy, one girl). The local magistrate is standing in shock before the fountain, mouth agape and eyes wide. After a few more moments in that pose, he turns to a soldier standing next to him.

"Captain, assemble a task force. Rake the surrounding countryside, forest and base of the mountain for the culprits of this heinous act. It's a little too early for the yeti's to come down this far, but search for them anyway. This seems far beyond their capabilities, but better to be safe than sorry. We don't want any more incidents like this. Also, be wary for creatures of the Shadowlands. We've not seen any for many months, so maybe some in the area have become restless."

"Yes sir," is all the captain says, bowing and quickly leaving the macabre scene. Villagers begin talking in hushed tones as as the magistrate puts his face in his hands and exhales loudly.

2006-10-09, 09:18 AM

2006-10-09, 09:18 AM

Mouth wide open in shock, Vrishma nears the bodies as much as possible so as not to provoke a reaction from the soldiers. He crouches down and taps his chin a few times, thinking, then focuses back on the bodies.

((Heal check to determine cause of wounds - weapons, claws, etc, any telling marks, and an approximate time of death - 17+8=25 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=669284), it could be penalized for distance but should suffice.))

Standing up, Vrishma faces his comrades, a serious expression on his normally cheery face. He speaks quietly, but with a determination that was lacking even in the march to the Shadowlands.
We need to find more about this, we do. I am eager to meet the sage Genki no less than you are, but that could wait, indeed it could. What is happening here may be no mean coincidence, I think it's not. He casts a telling look to his arm, then faces the closest villager. Good man, who were those poor people, and where did they live?

May the cleansing waters of the Divine River flow through this village. I hope the spirits have been restless yesterday night

2006-10-09, 09:23 AM
Time of death is somewhat uncertain. Sometime between 12 and 1 am. The wounds are easier. They were either made by claws or teeth.

The villager, looking pale, answers you.

"This is Nobutada. He is...was a merchant. Until the Emperer bought all of the jade up, he had a considerable store of it. Aside from that, he sold odds and ends, containers, cookware things like that. He was my next door neighbor, and I never heard a sound. No screams, no sounds of fighting. Nobutada was a somewhat accomplished warrior, but he was just murdered in cold blood."

The villager stands there, shaking.

2006-10-09, 09:50 AM
.oO(This isn't good for me... But thank my ancestors I've kept a low profile...."

Masumi keeps up her poker face countennance as she inspects the bodies herself... 1d20+2=14 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=669366)
..As well as something else, but it's unnoticable by anyone around her.

She addresses the neighbor with a calm, collected tone. "Did you here or see anything last night?"

2006-10-09, 10:00 AM

Thank you, my good man. Apparently whatever brigands attacked them were too many for him to handle, alas, too many indeed. Can you tell me where he lived? His face bears a sympathetic expression, but his eyes still carry a glint of urgency and determination. A foul deed like this may attract bad spirits if nothing is done. I realize I am an outsider here, I do, but I would like to prepare a sutra to ward them off and put the family's souls to rest.

2006-10-09, 01:25 PM
Brigands? Masaya says in disbelief.
With teeth and claw marks and no-one hearing the struggle? No, it must have been evil spirits of some sort. Or Maho... You need to set up wardings Vrishma, wardings against evil spirits. Don't just pray for their souls, pray for ours. he says grimly.
(Masaya is trying to remember whether the dead villagers he sees look like the ones he killed in his dream, or not.)

2006-10-09, 03:20 PM

Eh, we shall see when we get there, but I rather doubt it, I do. It is sad to see a family in their prime cut down like that, but the cause need not be magical, alas. Does the family have any relatives, good man, I would ask? Anyone whom we must speak to before we enter the house?

Incidentally, Vrishma's hands seem quite close to his mouth as he speaks, and he gives Masaya a brief glare.

We are already suspicious enough without extra panic in the town, indeed we are. And I had heard the humans of the Scorpion tribe called deceitful, indeed. One can't always judge a fruit by the tree, apparently.