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/tg/ - Traditional Games

Last thread hit bump limit.
Last thread here: >>52474763
>Naomi knelt down by Mantis-san
>I put my hands on his shoulders, just in case he thrashed about when he came to.
>Toshiro and Kitsuki-san went around the corner, out of sight.
>Naomi worked her magic, healing Mantis-san's wounds.
>He did indeed begin to thrash
>I put my down right in front of his so I was the only thing he could see
>Oi, Oi! Relax!
>I pulled back a bit.
>He glanced down
>I am almost done.
>Monkey poked his head into Mantis-san's feild of view
>I'm here too!
>Naomi finished healing Mantis-san's wounds, and sagged wearily against me.
>How much more do you even have, Naomi?
>She replied softly.
>one. To get us past the rocks.
>Mantis-san's looked back and forth between the three of us.
>What's been going on?
>You know this place really is cursed?
>Yeah, Toshi
>It's the curse of the Ningyo
>I cut him off before he could give us his version of events.
>Toshiro and Kitsuki-san were just around the corner waiting for us to reason Mantis-san into a state where they could rejoin us without it starting a massive brawl.
>But if Mantis-san told us his version, which would undoubtedly lay all the blame on them, they would probably come out and start arguing.
>It was going to be quite the challenge for me to keep all these lunatics in check.
>Monkey showed Mantis-san the carvings as Naomi recounted the story.
>Holy shit.
>Yeah, so we're all on edge things can get ugly pretty quickly.
>Monkey piped up.
>Ishigaki and I fought too, like you guys.
>Mantis-san picked his jaw up off the floor.
>Yeah. We're gonna finish it, but first we need to get off this damned island.
>Yeah, yeah you're right. I don't want to end up a feral madman wandering this place till i die.
>So we are in agreement then? All greivances are tabled until we're away from this damn mist?
>Mantis-san took deep breath, composed himself and nodded.
>Toshiro and Kitsuki-san took their cue to rejoin us.
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>Mantis-san looked at me sharply.
>I said.
>He agreed.
>Kitsuki-san rubbed at his side
>We do have much to discuss. But, yes. After.
>So our plan was to get off this cursed Island, make it to the Isles of Spice and SIlk, and then kill each other.
>Which was still better then killing each other now and going mad alone on this damned rock.
>Kitsuki-san spoke up again
>I would like to know just how Kenzan manages to protect himself and his crew from this curse
>Mantis-san shook his head.
>pirates don't live very long. Just like bandits, the get killed in fights all the time. Combine that with the dangers of being a sailor and I doubt any of them live long enough to feel it's full effects.
>Toshiro nodded.
>We're proof enough that a common goal can give focus. If we can work together I imagine a pack of water bandits can as well.
>What about Kenzan himself?
>I said it before, but I'll graciously repeat myself for the sake of Mantis-san, since he was resting.
>It's just a guess, but I think the Ningyo that came to this island tried to seal up thier curse into the trident. It didn't quite work the way they intended, which is why the mist comes from the trident and carries the curse.
>Perhaps then, it did work somewhat.
>And the one who bears the trident IS protected from it.
>Monkey spoke up.
>Wait, hold on.
>I thought the trident summoned the mist?
>So coulddn't Kenzan just dispell it to keep himself and his crew safe.
>Kitsuki-san took over at this point.
>This island has been shrouded in mist for as long as any human can remember. last time I checked, Orochi do not have hands, so it could not wield the trident.
>So I suspect the mist leaks out from the trident constantly.
>I nodded along. We were making assumptions, but so far it was plausible.
>The trident's weilder was protected from the curse, and could supress the mist, at least temporarily.
>Monkey scratched his head.
>So what does he do when he's asleep?
>I mean, a bunch of bloodthirsty temperamental pirates? Wouldn't one just shank him and take the trident for themselves?
>I looked around, just to make sure I wasn't the only one taken aback every time Monkey says something insightful.
>I was not. Kitsuki-san in particular, was taking it hard that Monkey noticed something he had overlooked.
>I wasn't very good at reading people, but I was fairly certain Kitsuki-san was considering which one of us he should ask to be his second.
>It was Naomi who answered Monkey.
>He must hide it someplace after they reach the island.
>So long as he goes on raids frequently, he would be able to stave of the curse without clinging to the trident all the time.
>it was quite the tightrope to be walking. But Nemurani that bear curses are like that.
>So, if he dosen't have the trident now, we could use the mist to ambush him?
>Um. Mantis-san.
>Naomi is almost spent.
>I heard.
>And the curse got into the other Mantis.
>I had not heard that.
>There's been a lot to talk about.
>There has. Go on then. How bad is it?
>The crew turned on each other, and the Navigator is dead.
>He grabed the front of my armor
>Why the hell didn't you say so sooner!
>I brought my hands up between his, broke his grip.
>THIS is why!
>We stood there glaring at each other, waiting for the other to make a move.
>Naomi took my hand.
>Kitsuki-san spoke
>So, will we need to find the trident in order to suppress the mist, so that you can navigate clear of the rocks, Mantis-san?
>He broke eye contact first. My win then.
>Yeah, Yeah we will. Kenzan would know all the safe ways through, but he'd keep that in his head.
>He's like you Kitsuki-san. Never forgets a damn thing.
>Kitsuki-san nodded.
>So then, beat him up and get him to tell us where it is?
>I felt a dampness on my foot.
>I looked down. There was water under me.
>There hadn't been, before.
>And I had not moved.
>I looked out of the mouth of the cave we were in.
>The beach outside was rapidly vanishing, being swallowed up by the sea.
>Hey! I think we need to get out of here.
>The others looked outside when I pointed.
>Oh shit, this cave must be underwater at high tide!
>We all looked at each other.
>The carvings.
>Well, now we know where the damn trident is.
>We'd been sitting on top of it this whole time
>We scrambled to get out above the tide.
>Naomi refused to allow me to carry her.
>Get Toshiro-san, Ishigaki-kun. His leg. We need him to help deliver our babies.
>I was elated that Naomi wanted more children.
>I was disturbed she needed such a cold reason to want me to help Toshiro.
>C'mon gimpy, up you go.
>He climbed on my back.
>Then smacked me in the back with his tetsubo, as though I were a horse
>So even Toshiro had succumbed. I really was the only sane one left.
>I made a note to beat him later for that. But not too severely. Naomi was right, we needed him.
>not just for our future children, but for her medicine as well.
>We ran trying to race the tide.
>It is not an easy thing to do.
>The water was well up to my knees at one point.
>I worried for Naomi, but I did not need to.
>She was ahead of me, proving yet again that water was her element.
>Kitsuki-san floundered, however.
>Mantis-san snagged him, pulling him along.
>I heard Mantis-san tell Kitsuki-san: You owe me one now.
>Of course Mantis-san would think to pursue his grudge by placing Kitsuki-san in his debt.
>we managed to avoid being overtaken completely by the tide.
>Wet and tired we flopped down.
>Where the hell is Monkey?
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Going to break for lunch here. Last thread got archived before I could get a link up, so I hope everyone found there way here with no problems. Lastly, ForeverGM has made his first image board posts. I know it was him because the anon who wanted to know how the curse was handled mechanically in the last thread got the correct answer. he said he's looking into getting access to a scanner so with any luck this thread will see some official character art for the gang.
Hell yeah, I want some pictures to go with this kick-ass story.
>Where the hell is Monkey?
Goddamit Monkey!
>We looked all around.
>No Monkeys of any shape or size were to be found.
>I looked back out over the sea.
>Between the newly risen tide and the mist I couldn't even guess at where the cave was now.
>Monkey was insane.
>Even before we got to this island.
>Toku bushi had a reputation for taking on more than common sense dictates, in the spirit of their Clans founder.
>But Monkey took it even further than most.
>You don't think...
>Toshiro finished my thought.
>That damn Monkey dove back into a cave filling with water, without knowing how far he would have to swim, in order to get the trident?
>Of course that's what he did.
>what now?
>We take Kenzan's ship.
>Naomi asked
>What about Monkey-san?
>Mantis-san replied
>What ABOUT Monkey-san?
>Either he retrieves the trident or he's drowned.
>Little we can do at this point, either way.
>Kitsuki-san nodded.
>We'll just have to come back at low tide to get it ourselves..
>He pointed. Kenzan's ship is straight that way.
>The water is shallow there, so the Orochi cannot attack them while they're anchored there.
>What's up with that snake anyway? Why doesn't it just wait around for them to leave the shallows?
>Naomi answered Mantis-san's question.
>The Ningyo tribe that brought the trident still lives here.
>And he still protects them.
>His only wish is for everyone to simply stay away from this place, so he leaves Kenzan an opening to do so.
>It's only because Kenzan takes the trident that the Orochi peruses.
>The water kami told you that, back in the cave?
>Not...exactly like that.
>the kami still remember the grief of the Orochi and the Ningyo, I saw their past
>Toshiro-san is right, the Ningyo did try to transfer the curse into the trident. Ultimately, it failed. They still went mad.
>The Orochi was genuinely friends with the tribes leader
>It's no pact that keeps him here
>He is looking after the beloved tribe of a dear friend who can no longer remember him.
>So that means when we go to leave, and use the trident to clear out the mist so we can get past the rocks, we'll have to deal with him too?
>yes, but I'm sure if we just give him the trident he'll let us go.
>Okay then. Let's go get our new boat.
>Mantis-san looked over at me.
>We'll have to swim there.
>Hida Bushi train wearing full armor.
>In fact, our first lessons are constant drilling with the equipment we will use for the rest of our lives.
>As such, know how to use heavier weapons in ways other samurai never will, and we become so used to the weight and bulk of our armor it no longer hampers us.
>It is still difficult to be silent when you're wearing 50 llbs of lacquered metal.
>which would be even heavier when waterlogged.
>I sighed.
>Naomi, give me a hand here?
>Naomi helped me out of my armor.
>Looks like I was going to have to fight in my fundoshi.
>We were going to be down a bushi, and Naomi had used up nearly all her magic.
>Toshiro, can you swim with that leg?
>Pretty sure. Yeah.
>Gonna try anyway.
>I kissed Naomi on the forehead.
>Wait for me, I'll be back for you. I promise.
>She looked me up and down.
>I will be waiting.
>She smiled at me.
>There was a promise in that smile.
>We went to edge of the water and began to swim.
>Toshiro struggled a bit, but he kept up with us.
>We neared the boat, the mist and the the current making waves lap at it's sides conspiring to aid us in our approach.
>The sea had washed Toshiro's face paint off.
>So he montioned that he wished to go first.
>I held on the rope of the ships anchor as he climbed up.
>I went after, then Mantis-san.
>Kitsuki-san brought up the rear.
>Toshiro slopped wetly onto the deck.
>A pirate turned to see what that was,
>and saw a waterlogged monster with a ruined face wielding a tetsubo come out of the mist, hellbent on consuming his very soul.
>Toshiro gave him enough time to scream before smashing him in the face, cutting it off with a loud crunch.
>The noise brought more pirates to investigate.
>They saw their comrades body, twitching and bleeding on the deck, sans face.
>They saw the creature that had killed him.
>And then, while their minds were still reeling with shock, only just turning to fear, a hulking wall of muscle wearing only a loincloth slammed into their ranks.
>we may have been badly outnumbered, but we had struck a decisive blow against their spirit before the even knew they were in a fight.
>they fell back away from me in terror, shocked into inaction.
>Mantis-san and Kitsuki-san charged in, harrying them, giving them no time to breath much less think
>The decks ran red with blood, and I thrilled at the heat of battle being upon me.
>Mantis-san let out a cry of triumph
>even Kitsuki-san was laughing
>Toshiro had left his scroll satchel behind, unwilling to even risk it's precious contents being damaged or destroyed during our swim.
>But he waded in right alongside us, swinging his tetsubo with abandon.
>And then the mist parted.
>Kenzan appeared on the deck
>he did not have the trident
>What are you idiots DOING?!
>It's just four of them! Get up, get in there!
>He restored order to them, gave them back their spirit.
>Ordinarily, this is when I would seek to cover myself, to fight with caution.
>Allowing my enemies to exhaust themselves and strike when they were weak.
>Instead I chose to double down and try to maintain our momentum.
>I lashed out, killing one and sending another over the side.
>My friends followed suit, cutting and smashing any they could reach.
>At first, it seemed we may keep our momentum after all.
>But then the pirates finally countered.
>Stars exploded in my eyse as a tonfa smashed into my temple.
>A kama sliced open my side.
>My vision cleared just enough to see the others all receive wounds of their own.
>I smashed in the kneecap of one pirate mencaing Mantis-san, clearing him a path to Kenzan
>GO! Finish him!
>Mantis-san ran at Kenzan, threw himself into a dive and rolled through Kenzan's legs.
>As Kenzan tried to rise, Mantis-san struck him with his kama, biting deep into Kenzan's shoulder.
>Kitsuki-san, despite his wounds, threw himself at another pirate.
>He landed on the pirates tanto
>But took the pirates head.
>Three others surrounded Toshiro and attacked, wounding him heavily.
>he sagged to his knees, tetsubo clattering to the deck.
>I lunged in, felling one.
>I missed the other.
>Only to be stabbed in the back.
>Several more pirates were advancing to help their leader, ready to kill Mantis-san.
>I realized that some of them still wore green.
>the ones who had tried to attack Naomi, and had run off.
>So they had joined Kenzan's crew?
>I struck one in the back.
>And then a jo slammed across the backs of my knees, and I went down, kneeling.
>A blade followed up, the point driven into my chest, and I toppled over, unable to stand.
>The pirates loomed over me, raised weapons to finish me off.
>And then a cry arose.
>I could just crane my neck enough to see.
>Kenzan's body hit the deck.
>And then his head did.
>It rolled off somewhere
>ah shit.
>we're gonna need go find that fuckers head.
>can't have that damn thing just rolling around wherever it pleases.
>what if naomi sees it
>something was odd with my thoughts but I couldn't tell what
>my head was cloudy, I couldn't focus at all.
>I rolled onto my back, arms outstreched, and looked up at the blue sky.
>There was still a pirate standing over me
>sunlight glinted off his upraised kama
>a trident stabbed him in the chest
>he clutched at the haft as the wielder ran past, carrying him over the side of boat.
>I thought the man with trident looked familiar, but it was hard to see.
>I was tired.
>so I closed my eyes.
Question on the out of character stuff, did the previous DM become toshiro when Naomi took over? Or did you get an entire new person
Totally new guy. Previous GM had irl issues and ended up dropping off the radar.
No wonder you use crabs for OP images. These threads are fucking jade text walls.
I sorta enjoy how the text walls give him the weeb speak diction pace though
Where in the story did the switch happen?
Maybe I am not reading close enough to see it.
Around the time of the first baby if I'm remembering right.
>that pic
mantis > unicorn > crab > scorpion > the other trash
am I right or am I right?
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The Shiba's player left irl before the session we got the letter to bring Monkey to his wedding. That's why I only mentioned the Shiba in passing during that ensemble romcom scene in the garden.

I didn't really adress the Shiba's char leaving in the story until later because I wasn't sure how I was going to write him out yet. There are three kinds of /tg/ greentext: a) wacky hijinks at the table b) unique and therfore interesting chars/sessions/situations c)the story of the adventure told through the eyes of the chars present.

This is the last one, told through Ishigaki's eyes. So like I admited earlier, I'm taking some artistic liberty at times. Sometimes because it's been years and I really don't remember all the little details of each session, and sometimes because I want these stories to be as in character as possible.

But we had a lot of great moments in this campaign, so I thought I'd start sharing some. Like the time Ishigaki figured out the shushi death by staring at a peice of sushi. That was a real table moment. We'd gotten some Japanese take out. YOU TAINTED BASTARD was another one I don't think I'll ever forget. When a bunch of anons started screencaping and tossing (you)'s at me asking for more, I figured I'd keep going till everyone told me to stop.
>Many times in stories when Samurai are near death, they speak of seeing their ancestors.
>Often the receive some bit of wisdom before being told to go back.
>Other times the Samurai realizes what is happening, and states they have some task they must complete first.
>Neither of these things happened to me.
>or, if they did, I do not remember them.
>I do not know if I am disappointed that nothing happened, or relived that I avoided such a cliche.
>It matters very little.
>I awoke to Naomi's tear streaked face.
>Thank the fortunes! Ishigaki-kun!
>She hugged me fiercely, but without the spine shattering strength from before.
>The next thing I noticed was there was no mist.
>I then realized that, while you would not question your actions while under the curse, you would see them for what they were once you were no longer being influenced.
>We were going to end spending the next month and a half apologizing to one another.
>Naomi, ever sensitive to my thoughts and emotions, flushed red as she realized I was remembering what we did on that island.
>I had never seen her blush so deeply before.
>She looked like nothing so much as... well... a boiled crab.
>the rocking sensation, and the sound of lapping water, told me we were on a ship.
>Toshiro's face, freshly painted came into view.
>he had a tightness in the set of his jaw that let me know we were not out of the woods just yet.
>You done patching him up yet, Naomi?
>The Monkey's voice sounded very strange.
>Toshiro whispered to me
>We really should have known better than to fuck around with a cursed Nemurani.
>C'mon Ishigaki.
>get up.
>I did so.
>Monkey was sitting there on the deck.
>the trident was slung over his shoulder.
>Around me sailors, some the pirates, others the survivors of the Mantis crew, went about the work of the ship, and tried very hard not to look at any of this.
>We're clear of the rocks, Ishigaki
>He stared into my eyes
>It's after
>He kicked my tetsubo across the deck to me
>I glanced down at Toshiro.
>he was bandaged heavily.
>Naomi had just used up her last spell healing me, unless I had been out for a very long time.
>Mantis-san? Kitsuki-san?
>Don't worry about them Ishigaki. they're not dead or anything.
>Just to messed up to move.
>Looks like you guys really needed me to save your sorry asses.
>Toshiro spoke up.
>The curse, Ishigaki-san. We were a little mad with bloodlust, fought recklessly.
>I nodded
>Yeah, you keep talking about the damn curse, but you guys were treating me like shit long before we ever got here.
>It's the tirdent, Ishigaki-san. Get it away from him.
>Got it.
>Whisper all you want, it's not going to save you Ishigaki.
>Monkey hopped up, twirling the trident.
>You know, your lucky I'm such an honorable guy.
>I could have killed you while you were out.
>I stared at Monkey.
>It's not honor. You just need to know the truth.
>he chuckled.
>Yeah. your right. I do.
>He lunged.
>I twisted to the side, pushing his thrusts past me with my tetsubo.
>You really are an annoying little shit, you know that Monkey?
>And your bad luck.
>So, quite frankly, I think you should be grateful we keep you around at all.
>I didn't mean any of that, of course. I was free of the curse now.
>But I wanted to goad Monkey, make him angry. Angry, reckless and stupid.
>I was only going to get one chance.
>Of course, in the grip of the curse as he was, Monkey walked right into my bait.
>He hadn't taken complete leave of his senses though.
>He tried to rile me up right back
>Once I kill you I'm taking Naomi for my own!
>maybe he had taken complete leave of his senses.
>I bit down on my anger.
>Monkey was not himself
>I prepared myself.
>He thrust the trident straight for my heart with all his might.
>I pushed it down just enough that it missed my lungs
>grabbed his lead wrist.
>And slammed the pommel of my tetsubo into the bridge of his nose, breaking it.
>He lost his balance, falling to the deck.
>and released his grip on the trident.
>Toshiro and several sailors jumped on him, pinning him to the deck.
>I moved to kick the accursed trident over the side, but Naomi shouted to forestall me
>Ishigaki-kun, stop!
>We must give it back to the Orochi when he comes for it!
>I nodded.
>Fine. Nobody touch that damn thing till the snake gets here.
>I placed a full barrel of fresh water on top of the trident to keep it from sliding off the deck.
>shouldn't the mist be seeping from this thing now that no one is holding it?
>Toshiro came over.
>I glanced back. Two sailors were still holding Monkey's arms, but he was not struggling at all.
>Give me a moment Toshiro said.
>He knelt next to the trident, and began to pray.
>What's he doing Naomi?
>Asking the Kami for their favor.
>I can see that.
>No, you do not understand.
>All magic is the work of the Kami.
>We use scrolls to help us focus our minds properly, and because the prayer so transcribed is pleasing to the Kami whose favor we seek.
>It is possible to recite the prayer from memory, to get the motions, and even your emotional state just right, so that you do not need a scroll.
>It is also possible to simply entreat the Kami directly for intervention you do not know how to properly ask for.
>I am exhausted, but there is a very simple water spell that will reveal the properties of a Nemurani.
>Toshiro knows it possible for the kami to do this, but he does not know the proper way to ask. So he is entreating them in a less formal way.
>It takes much longer, this way.
>that's why we rely on our scrolls.
>Uh. Okay.
>I understood maybe one word in three of that.
>Magic was something I would never trully grasp, as I could not hear the kami as Naomi and Toshiro could.
>I think she just said it's possible for a shugenja to cast a spell they didn't know, by asking really nicely for a long time.
>I think.
>Naomi dressed my wound as she wasted her breath trying to explain the finer points of shugenjaing to me.
>I didn't stop her, because I was so glad to hear her speaking normally again.
>When she finished, I laid back, putting my head to rest in her lap.
>the full weight of ordeal that was the isle of mists came down upon me.
>seeing my friends turned into something they were not.
>My wife.
>my own thoughts and actions disgusted me.
>And worst of all was the way I did not even think to question them at the time.
>How far did the curse change a person?
>did it make you into something you simply were not?
>Or did it only bring to the surface what was truly inside you?
>I didn't want to know, not about myself, or the others.
>But I couldn't stop turning it over in my mind.
>I suspected the others were the same.
>Or would be, when they woke up.
>a sob broke the silence.
>It wasn't Naomi.
>I looked over.
>Monkey jerked his arms free of the sailors holding him
>He looked at us, tears in his eyes.
>I'm sorry!
>Ishigaki-san! I tried to kill you! twice!
>Naomi-sama, Toshiro-sama!
>He yanked off his do.
>Oh shit Monkey what are you doing
>I got up
>he pulled out his wakizashi
>Naomi yelled it before I could finish thinking it.
>And with such force everyone on deck came to an abrupt halt.
>I recovered first, ran over and slapped the blade from Monkey's hands.
>Then I hugged him
>Just forget it Monkey.
>But, but I...
>We all did Monkey.
>Ishigaki-kun is right. We all did terrible things on that island. No one is to blame for any of it.
>You will NOT take your own life over it, do you understand me?
>Monkey nodded, wide eyed at the vehemence in Naomi's voice.
>Besides Monkey, if you did that then we would all have to.
>You'd be killing us all, you really want that?
>N-no. I don't.
>Okay then.
>You can stop hugging me now.
>I let go of Monkey, more than a little embarrassed.
>Naomi tittered behind her sleeve.
Shounen protagonism intensifies.
Bumping for collective sudoku.
Damn it.
I didn't see this had started and posted the screencaps in another thread.
Get 'em while they're hot!
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>Tales Of Hida ISHYGDDT
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Thanks anon, you da best.
just make a PDF by god
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Libraian-anon is working on one. Ikoma-anon preserves the work in this way, and does a fine job of it.

Good news on this front. As I type this ForeverGM is in the chair across from me drawfagging away. He'll be using the scanner at his work on monday, so by monday night at the latest we'll have char art uploaded.
>After some time Toshiro finished his chat with the Kami
>he stood up, and came over to us.
>The trident was a Nemurani before they tried to seal the curse inside it.
>Origianly, when placed upon it's alter, it would cause mist to seep out over a wide area, concealing it.
>When held, it's wielder could summon a much smaller area of mist around themselves.
>Ah. And then the curse became rooted in the mist?
>Yes, Naomi-san. It's just as you say.
>It was then that the Orochi finnaly made it's presence known.
>It came up, hissing furiously
>OI! Hold on a minute!
>I waved my arms at it, Monkey did likewise
>To my relife, it stopped hissing. Closed it's mouth. And stared at us.
>Kenzan, the guy who took the trident, is dead!
>We just want to get away from the curse!
>So here, have it back!
>It leaned in, opened it's maw.
>with a quick kick monkey sent the trident into the things mouth.
>It closed it's mouth on the trident, holding it.
>And then vanished beneath the waves without a word.
>Monkey looked over at me.
>Not very talkative, was he?
>What, you were hoping to have some polite teatime conversation with a giant snake?
>Yeah, actually.
>I mean, he's lived for ever!
>Before men walked in Ningen-do!
>He must know a lot, must have seen a lot!
>He's been protecting a tribe of crazed Ningyo all this time. All he knows about is fish, more fish, and what crazy fish people do with their free time.
>Oh. Yeah, I suppose your right.
>While I wanted to rest, I could not. There were not enough surviving Mantis to crew the boat, so we had no choice but to use pirates as well
>Several of us were on guard at all times, to keep them from getting any funny ideas
>Toshiro promised them that since he was a Jade, and not Emerald magistrate, he would blame their crimes entirely on the mist and let them go once we reached port
>Toshiro is filthy liar
>These men and been in and out of the mist several times
>They needed no curse to make them bloodthirsty criminals
>we reached the Isles of Spice and Silk in two days, as predicted.
>Everyone was fully recovered from their psychical injuries and fatigue, thanks to Naomi.
>The mental injuries would take longer to heal.
>In the end, we did a tea ceremony together and agreed that we would simply never speak of the things that happened on that island again.
>Unlike Toshiro, I am not a filthy liar.
>I never said I wouldn't write about them.
>Not like I expect anyone would ever read these journals anyway.
>I'm getting sidetracked.
>While we were handling all the matters of docking, Monkey slipped quietly away and got the magistrate.
>And several dozen well armed Yoriki.
>So while the pirates cried and protested and insulted Toshiro, there was little they could do but be carted off.
>A drowning man will grab anything to try and save himself, even if he knows his weight will pull it down with him.
>These pirates were no different. Given the choice between immediate death at the hands of the Yoriki, or death via execution that was at some point in the future, they chose to live just a little bit longer.
>We got a chance to meet Mantis-san's wife.
>She greeted her husband traditionally, dozega and asking whether he wished for dinner or a bath first.
>We chose bath.
>The time at sea, and the island, had given us little time to clean properly, and we all stank to Tengoku.
>Mantis-san's house was quite large, and had two baths, so Naomi and Tatsuki got cleaned up at the same time we did.
>Tatsuki was clever girl.
>She hid in an empty barrel inside the ship as soon as she saw people getting weird.
>He poured a bucket of water over his head, washing all the soap off.
>How do you think your wife is going to take to Tatsuki?
>The same way she takes to our baby making sessions. Cold indifference.
>I told you before, we have a normal marriage.
>She runs the house, managing my stipend and business.
>When I come home sometimes we fuck, sometimes we don't.
>But it's only for children.
>We don't love each other.
>But we do both love our kids.
>Monkey was soaking, a cloth over his eyes.
>Without moving he asked Mantis-san how many children he had.
>Two so far.
>Boys. Ichiro and Nichi.
>He got in to soak beside us.
>I know, not very original.
>But they're going to choose their own names when they complete their Gempuku anyway.
>Mantis-san was right. Children's names were often bland. Adding in numbers relating to their birth order was a common thing.
>For precicely the reason he said so. A person chooses their adult name upon completing their Gempuku.
>And takes a new name upon retiring.
>Some even receive a fourth name upon their death.
>Needless to say, keeping track of who is who in official records can be a challenge.
>I shook my head. Mantis-san was telling the truth when he said his marriage was normal.
>But I couldn't fathom it.
>Not making love to someone you had no feelings for, nor arranging a marriage that would put your own children is such a position.
>Then again, I was a Crab. It was the custom of our Clan to allow Samurai to choose their own spouses.
>You had until 25, then a spouse would be found for you.
>We did it this way because we were in a never ending war.
>Our clan suffered losses almost daily.
>And a couple in love would make love more often then a couple that could not stand one another.
>Which meant more babies.
>Which meant more Crabs to replace the ones who fall.
>I wondered if I was no better than those who condemned their children to a loveless marriage.
>After all, I was condemning mine to life on the Wall.
>Damn that island.
>I got out and dried myself off.
>I was far to introspective for my own good at the moment.
>Judging by the silence in the bath behind me, we all were.
>An evening of drinking was in order.

>Gloomy thoughts would intrude on even the most stalwart veteran after a long time standing a post on the Wall.
>It's why Crabs were so rowdy once off duty. Chasing those dark thoughts away to keep hold of your sanity.
>Toshiro joined me as I finished dressing.
>looked at me.
>Nodded in agreement.
>We came out and a servant lead us to a room.
>Manits-san's wife was there talking with Naomi.
>Tatsuki was pouring tea for them and fidgeting.
>Ishigaki-kun! Kaori-san was just asking about you
>She sipped her tea.
>My husband's letters are terse, I fear.
>He has told me precious little about you all.
>In his defense, there isn't much to tell about me at all.
>I'm just a simple Crab, killing oni where I find them.
>She smiled
>such work is hardly simple though.
>True. But it's also not a topic for polite discussion.
>Also true.
>She nodded, and turned to Toshiro.
>He had already reaplied his face paint.
>You must be Kuni Toshiro-sama.
>May I ask why you paint your face?
>I know it is a custom of your family, but I thought it war paint?
>For many it is. Others will wear it when going about official duties or in public for one reason or another.
>It is a personal choice, just as the pattern of the paint is.
>I see. That is very interesting.
>What is your reason then?
>My leg is not the only thing wounded in battle with the shadowlands.
>Oh. I see. Forgive me for prying.
>Toshiro waved the apology away.
>It is fine. Everyone is curious about it when we first meet.
>this sure is an exciting conversation.
>I was relived when the others came in.
>You recived my letter, Husband?
>I did.
>Kenzan has taken to targeting our ships, personally.
>I know because he sent one sailor back alive to tell me.
>Mantis-san nodded.
>Kenzan has already been dealt with.
>She looked shocked, then quickly hid it behind a sip of tea.
>Mantis-san continued.
>It was pure chance, but he attacked the very ship we were coming here on.
>How unfortunate for him.
>She smiled again
>Is the damage to our business severe?
>We lost three ships, crew and cargo all.
>But I believe we can recover.
>Though we will have to be tight with the purse strings for a time.
>No frivolous expenses.
>Kaori-san didn't look at Tatsuki, but Tatsuki squirmed all the same.
>Mantis-san sighed.
>You've already guessed then?
>Kaori-san sipped her tea.
>He produced Tatsuki's contract.
>His wife's eyes widened again as she looked at it
>How did you get this? I haven't given you nearly enough money to buy a Geisha's contract!
>I got a great price form the Bog Hag that owned it previously to have it.
>The one-two combination of shocks was enough to finnaly shake Kaori-san's face.
>She stared at Mantis-san.
>Opened her mouth. Then closed it, unable to find words.
>This repeated several times.
>There was a bog hag wearing the skin of the madame of a Geisha house.
>It had a coven, and several of the Geisha were also Hags.
>No, Kaori, Tatsuki here knew nothing about it. She was a victim of the hags as well.
>And no, she is not tainted.
>Mantis-san gestured towards Toshiro and me.
>I promised I would keep no secrets from you. But Tatsuki is perfectly safe.
>And I will keep her.
>Kaori-san managed to regain her composure.
>Looked at Tatsuki.
>Very well then.
>Stop squirming so. Did you not learn proper manners durring your training?
>I... I was still in training when Mantis-sama acquired my contract.
>Kaori narrowed her eyes.
>very well.
>I suppose I can teach you what you need to know if your going to be part of this household now.
>With that last bit of business out of the way I elbowed Mantis-san.
>You must know where there is a good place to get some drinks around here.
>I do.
>Well lets go then.
>Mantis-san, Kitsuki-san, Monkey, Toshiro and I all went out for the evening.
>We got blind stinking drunk.
>And we lurched back to Mantis-san's house singing at the top of our lungs.
>We were all singing a different song.
>I sounded like a dying frog.
Oh shit, don't tell me the Mantis' wife was in league with the trident dude and maybe still is part of the conspiracy.
Nah I'd say its likely kenzan got directed to the Trident by THEM but I doubt mantis-sans wife has anything to do with THEM
So far, who could be connected to them that is still alive? There is Naomi-san brother, possibly the Lion general, who else?
Question: Where's Mantis-san's concubine while all of this is happening?
Hiding in a barrel to avoid being raped/killed/both, apparently. As for where at Mantis's house, she was just mentioned serving tea and trying to not squirm In front of Mantis's wife
I'm calling it:
-Kenzan was given info on where to find the trident by the conspirators
-Mantis' wife is in the pockets of the conspirators
-Kenzan and Mantis' wife worked in team, she fed him informations on their shipments.
-And they were lovers.
-Something something contract void, geisha is no longer geisha and marries Mantis, living happily ever after.
Didn't the lion general commit suicide by ikagashi? In respect to who might be connected to THEM I'd say the rest of the Maho coven which the crane traitor from that incident was apart of is prob something to do with THEM
okay yeah, just caught up reading.

>Mantis' wife is in the pockets of the conspirators
You guys are being ridiculous. The only argument to suggest she's allied with the conspiracy is her surprise that Mantis had already dealt with something that he was being called back to deal with. This is a perfectly rational thing to be surprised about.
In fact, if she were part of the conspiracy, it'd make more sense for her NOT to be so surprised at Kenzan's death, since she' be trying to hide her reaction out of fear.
Im not seeing it if she were working with kenzan it would make more sense to help him usurp the mantises business rather than destroying the business which she herself runs
You guys are not paranoid enough.
Maybe but all I'm saying is she seems like a practical woman. Why downgrade from being a samurais wife with a profitable shipping business to being the wife of a pirate. If she wanted to betray mantis the best way to do it would be to siphon off funds to kenzan so he can buy himself back into the clan while also cucking mantis with kenzan to make sure that the one thing he loves his children aren't even his as the ultimate betrayal
I'm plenty paranoid! That's how I know Naomi's brother is part of THEM
>Didn't the lion general commit suicide by ikagashi
I mean, the lord of said Lion, the one he was following the orders. The one who would have allowed the crane traitor to pass the edicts giving the maho coven advantages.
I got the impression that the lions lord just told him to capture the town and the general made the deal with the crane not realising he was a maho
She may be a bog hag blood witch, in league with those one, and manipulated the trident guy in order to screw with the mantis.
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*in league with those from the geisha house
Maybe but all the ones in the geisha house died and it hasnt actually been that long since they killed all of them. It would take a while to supplant mantis wife lead kenzan to the trident have him take out two ships and then the time for the letter to travel to reach mantis
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Last bit of exagerated paranoia:
-they all knew where the other hags were, and maybe it's not always the same that acts as Mantis' wife, she could be recently arrived and recognized the geisha.
(it's all in jest though, I'm keeping my paranoia at its natural level, I think it will go like this, no bog hags needed)
Shame we can't get enough conversation going for a real /l5rg/.
>I awoke with a taiko drummer in my head.
>There was a rack with a kimono hanging over it shading me, so at least there wasn't sunlight searing my eyes.
>I guessed that Naomi was feeling more merciful since I didn't get into another brawl.
>I lurched to my feet and, after bracing myself, staggered outside to get the poison out.
>I found Naomi waiting with a cup of water when I finished that bit of business.
>As I gulped it down, she looked up at me.
>Why do you do this to yourself?
>Too much sake is sometimes a good thing.
>You have said that before. I still do not understand.
>Sometimes a person gets into a foul mood, and cannot shake off dark thoughts. You know this?
>Yes, It happens. You are saying sake helps with that?
>Yeah, it does. Too much sake and you can loose your sense, do things you should not, say things you should not.
>Sometimes doing or saying what you shouldn't is a good way to release those dark thoughts.
>And since everyone accepts too much sake as an apology there's little real harm in just cutting lose, and tossing aside your face and all the pressure that comes with it.
>Naomi cocked her head.
>But what about the brawls that accompany such diversion?
>They don't always end in fights Naomi.
>No. They do not. They should not.
>She handed me another cup.
>It has been said that Crabs are masters of intimidation. That we can scare someone with little more than an arched eyebrow.
>Naomi was not a born a Crab, but she was certainly living up to the reputation now.
>Alright, I understand.
>I promise I will never start another brawl.
>We spent a few days resting at Mantis-sans home.
>We had begun to discuss returning to the mainland Monkey mentioned that he wished to see his wife and child again, and Kitsuki-san said he felt it time to return to his sensei for more instruction.
>You as well, Ishigaki-san. I can see your progress. I'm sure your sensei will find you ready as well.
>So we agreed to go our separate ways for the time being.
>Naomi, Toshiro and I returned to my home in the Crab lands.
>Toshiro only stayed for a day, saying he needed to see his Sensei as well.
>Plus the goblin is probably dead.
>I'll need to get a new one.
>Naomi could not cover her surprise.
>Goblin? What goblin?
>I keep a goblin in a cage at my home. I poke it with a stick at times.
>For research.
>He waved and began thumpdraggin his way home.
>He... he was joking wasn't he Ishigaki?
>Oh go... Probably?!
>I grinned at her.
>Oh! YOU!
>She gave my shoulder a light punch.
>Papa! Play!
>Daiko wasn't quite up to full sentences yet, but she did understand verbs as well as nouns now.
>Tetsute was close behind her. His babling was sounding more and more like real words every day.
>So I decided I would take a few days to enjoy my family, see if I could catch Tetsute's first words before heading off to see sensei.
>So I roughhoused with my children.
>Somewhere along the way, Tetsutei had added biting into his arsenal.
>I was still lenient, allowing them victories over me when they did well.
>There would be time enough for stern instruction later on.
>For now I wanted to hear their triumphant laughter, see their smiles as they toppled me.
>I did have to scold them a bit when they tried to play with Naomi the same way, though.
>But they both understood.
>Naomi played word games with them instead. Naming body parts and then tickling them was one of their favorites.
>Daiko returned the favor to her mother
>Naomi toppled over in peals of laughter, which became mock cries for help from me when Tetsute clumsily joined in on her other foot.
>Then he bit her toe.
>OH! You little RASCAL!
>Naomi scooped Tetsute up and hugged him into submission.
>Then it was more roughhousing with dad until they finally wore themselves out.
>I just laid there on the floor.
>They had fallen asleep on top of me, and I didn't have the heart to risk waking them.
>I overheard our nanny asking Naomi if it would be possible to hire a few more servants
>Given the terror twins almost boundless energy, I could see why she wanted that.
>Naomi, to my surprise, assented.
>I didn't think our stipends were sufficient to do so.
>Some of the herbs in her medicine were a bit expensive.
>And stipends were paid out yearly. Once gone, it was gone.
>I asked her about it that eveneing, when we were all bathing togother.
>Oh, you overheard?
>Tetsute squirmed in my hands as Naomi washed his hair.
>Daiko was splashing away in the tub, waiting for the rest of us.
>About that, I was not going to say anything until I was certain about things, but...
>I have been exchanging correspondence with both Mantis-san and Monkey's wives for a while now.
>They have both been doing well in their buisiness, and since we need more servants to keep up the house, keep up with the children...
>And a few Ji-samurai, or at least Ashigaru couldn't hurt, all things considered.
>Yes Ishigaki-kun, you are right about that as well.
>So. They have been advising me on ways I might afford all this on our stipend.
>Oh really?
>Hai. I am going to attempt to rebuild Ishigaki Mura.
>My eyebrows jumped up. So far up they almost punched a hole in the ceiling.
>I thought at first, a sake works would be in order. Crab sake is renowned thought the empire, and Karoi-san assures me she knows several places it will sell quite well.
>But where are you planning on getting the workers, the master?
>The Yasuki who procures the herbs for my medicine said he could arrange that.
>I blinked. While I wasn't looking, my wife had been studying the fine points of becoming a merchant patron.
>we rinsed Tetsute off and got in the bath
>Is there anything I can do to help out?
>yes. Continue to refine your technique. Be the wall that gaurds this family, and always come home, my love.
>My heat melted.
>Daiko splashed us both and giggled.
>I splashed back.
>Then Naomi cheated and dumped the whole bath on the lot of us.
>Never get into a splash fight with a water tensai.
>In the morning I set off, making my way to the Dojo.
>I entered and saw Kojiro-sensei immediately.
>He was practicing basic overhead strikes.
>But he was doing so with a truly massive kanabo.
>Rather than a single peice of Iron, a Kanabo is mostly wood with metal studs.
>I guessed the one he was swinging must weigh something like 20 llbs.
>it was too large to be used as a real weapon.
>But the strain showing in his muscles left no doubt as to it's effectiveness as a training tool.
>I knelt before my sensei and waited for him to finish his training.
>Half an hour later, he returned to a nuetral stance, put up his kanabo and spoke.
>I was wondering how long you were planning on keeping me waiting.
>He strectched and shook out his joints.
>Then tossed me a tetsubo.
>We fought again.
>Sensei fought diferently this time.
>He was never were I though he would be, he defied my every expectation.
>Of course. Sensei knew exactly how I had been trained to fight. He was a graduate of Sunda Mizu, just as I was. He was a teacher to those who would become the elite of our clan.
>He knew exactly what I would do in battle.
>Now he was turning my own training against me.
>I tried to adapt, but reflexes so deeply ingrained for so long were not so easily altered.
>In the end, all I could do was undure as best as possible.
>Given sensei's strength, that wasn't very long at all.
>Yosh. You did well, Ishigaki-san.
>Did I?
>I dragged myself back to my feet.
>You saw the point of my lesson right away.
>Not many catch on that quickly.
>He gave me an appraising stare for a time.
>You are ready.
>You will sometimes face enemies that know your style well, or who you are ill suited to defeat.
>And as you have just learned, it is difficult to change one's style in the middle of battle.
>At these times, you must endure.
>I nodded along with sensei.
>he was not telling me anything I did not know before today, but one must respect the words of sensei.
>he would come to a point eventually.
>You have already learned when to conserve your strength, and when to unleash your fury.
>Now you have seen the limits of your endurance.
>I will teach you to break through those limits.
>Sensei's instruction built upon the earlier lessons.
>First, the Hida bushi learns to take a crushing blow and pass it's force through them and into the earth.
>Then, the Defender of the Wall learns to attack the taint in a foe with the purity of their own earth when they are struck.
>My next lesson would be to disrupt any attacker, by lashing out with my earth even as I passed the attack through me.
>By combining active and passive defense, sensei said, I would make my body harder than any suit of armor.
>Once again, this was a far more spritual technique
>And once again, the only way to master it would be getting beaten night and day until I got it right.
>I took a breath and resolved myself to accept this pain.
>Enduring these harsh lessons now would help me to keep my promise to my wife and children.
>We began.
>Sense used his training kanabo.
>He did not stop until I could no longer stand.
>A Kuni made sure I was fresh and ready each morning, and evening.
>I now understood fully this dojo's motto.
>The Shadowlands is not Hell.
>After a month, Sensei declared I was doing it right.
>We fought one more time.
>I did not win, but I was able to push through one of his attacks to land a hit of my own.
>He nodded in satisfaction.
>Continue training, Ishigaki-san.
>I have high hopes for you.
>Hai, sensei!
>I returned home, with a few new scars.
>And found my mother in law had come for a visit.
Last one for the evening. Later.
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I finally caught up!
Just in time to not cap anything for a couple days.
I'll be watching, though.
>And found my mother in law had come for a visit.

Oh shit.
>My first clue that there was something horribly wrong in my house was the child I didn't recognize, wearing a red kimono, playing with my children out front.
>He recognized me though.
>I didn't have a little brother who would wear red.
>Ah. This must be Ashitaka, Naomi's little brother.
>I wondered how many people I didn't want in my house were in my house right now.
>Just one,it turned out.
>I opened the front door perhaps a bit too forcefully and announced my return.
>Nanny came to greet me, and told me where Naomi was having tea with her mother.
>Just her and the boy?
>Hai, my lord.
>I grunted and went in.
>Naomi's mother had aged visibly since I saw her last.
>Streaks of grey were shooting through once raven black hair, and there were deep lines around her eyes.
>She looked tired.
>It didn't surpise me. Now that Naomi was out of reach and Hohiro the Master of Earth, it would be her or Ashitaka that served as Shoji's scapegoat now.
>the boy was far too happy to have seen that side of his father in earnest.
>Naomi did not like the coolness in our greetings.
>She pretended not to notice though.
>Ishigaki-kun! How was your training?
>It went well. A few new scars, but I have advanced again.
>That is wonderfull, Ishigaki-kun!
>Naomi turned to her mother.
>Ishigaki-kun is a Defender of the Wall now.
>Mother-in-law blinked.
>I thought that's what all Crab were?
>Ah, no. You misheard. Defender.
>Naomi stressed the capitalization.
>it is a special school for the elite of the Crab Clan.
>The elite?
>Mommy dearest looked around my sparse home.
>The Crab Clan is far more concerned with merit than social status for things like that Mother.
>I see.
>I sat down next to Naomi, took off my kabuto and sat it down next to me.
>Nanny poured me some tea.
>I rested my chin on my closed fist and looked Naomi's mother in the eyes.
>Why are you here?
>Mother held up her hand to forestall any further protest from Naomi.
>Your husband is right to be upset with me, Naomi-san.
>Mother looked at me evenly.
>Then bowed. Full dozega.
>I knew full well what Shoji was doing to Naomi was not right, yet I allowed it to continue.
>For this I apologize.
>Why are you apologizing to me, then?
>The one you wronged is over there.
>Yes. You are right.
>Mother bowed to her daughter
>Mother! Please stop! You did nothing wrong! You could not go against father, I understand!
>Of cousre Naomi would leap at the chance to have a normal relationship with any of her family.
>I was certain that she would even forgive Shoji, should he ask for it.
>he never would, of course.
>And she would still seek to obey him, were he not shunning her outright.
>Because Naomi was an honorable woman, and honorable children obey their parents, even when their parents are complete assholes.
>Personally, I would just as soon have tossed the old bitch out in the mud and gone on pretending Naomi and I both had no family save each other.
>But as I had just pointed out, I was not the one who was wronged.
>So even though I thought Naomi forgave far too easily, I couldn't gainsay it.
>I looked aside politely while mother and daughter hugged one another and wept.
>Oka-san's tears seemed genuine to me.
>I gave them some time, then asked again, more gently than before.
>Why are you here, Oka-san?
>the two disentangled themselves, sniffled and wiped at watery eyes.
>I need your help.
>Naomi looked taken aback that her mother other reasons for her visit, aside from just seeing her daughter and grandchild.
>Are you asking for help from your family, from a Crab, or from a Jade Magistrate and her Yojimbo, Oka-san?
>All of them.
>I blew out a sigh. I would have said no to the first. I might have said no to the second. But the third was Naomi's choice.
>Yes, of course Mother. We are family, you need only ask!
>Bandits. It's bandits.
>Huh? Oka-san we are jade
>The bandits have Ogres with them.
>When your father heard there were Ogres among the bandits, he left to command the soldiers himself.
>Shoji was an ambitious man. As an Earth Tensai, he would be well suited to dealing with Ogres. A good chance to put his name back in people's mouths.
>Oka-san continued.
>But, something is wrong. It is taking far to long to deal with simple bandits, ogres or not.
>I fear for your father's safety.
>So, there we have it then.
>Oka-san was being so polite because she knew damn well how I would take a request to help Shoji.
>The man had once called for my execution. And for that of his own daughter.
>Of course Mother! Ogres bear the taint of Jigoku. As a Jade Magistrate it is my duty to see such taint purged from the Empire, and it also my duty as a Crab! I will help you.
>Thank you, my daughter. I do not know what I did to be so blessed with such a duitifull child.
>Neither did I.
>Naomi asked Nanny to fetch her some ink, paper and a brush.
>She wrote out quick letters to everyone else, explaining the situation and asking everyone to meet up at her father's castle.
>Then she went to go pack, leaving me alone with her mother.
>Were you really serious? About wanting Naomi's forgiveness?
>She looked at me, startled by my abruptness.
>Do you really think so little of me?
>She scowled at me.
>I am. I know Shoji can be a cruel man.
>So? Why did you do nothing then?
>I married him because his station would provide well for my children. They would have the finest things, the best education.
>Even Naomi was still taken as a Tensai.
>And I hopped he would soften to her one day.
>Naomi STILL hopes for that day, even now, you know.
>I do.
>And you do not tell her that day will never come.
>It was my turn to scowl.
>She would never believe that.
>No. She would not.
>I sighed and wondered if I would be able to give my all to save the life of the man I most despised in all the Empire.
>>When your father heard there were Ogres among the bandits, he left to command the soldiers himself.
>>Shoji was an ambitious man. As an Earth Tensai, he would be well suited to dealing with Ogres. A good chance to put his name back in people's mouths.
>>Oka-san continued.
>>But, something is wrong. It is taking far to long to deal with simple bandits, ogres or not.
>>I fear for your father's safety.

Hohiro getting rid of dad dearest? Why?
Possibly as a bait to lure the party in and finish them off?
Isn't he in line for inheritance, or does he have an older brother?
No, he's the eldest. It's Hohiro - Naomi- Ahsitaka.

Though, he's Master of The Earth now, he already has more than dad ever had, so going for inheritance now is not really necessary.
I very much doubt that a man like Hohiro knows the meaning to the words "I have enough."
It's not that he wouldn't want more, it's that dad by now is a used and discard asset.
Going for dad now is lowering the bar.
Exactly; its time to discard that asset, and cash it in for lands and wealth.
The main point is "lowering the bar". I'd think that he would go for a bigger goal rather than dad seeing how he already surpasses him in anything that counts.
Bump for dealing with in-laws.
It's less about 'lowering the bar', more about disposing of a expended asset and most importantly, regaining family honor. The father has brought great dishonor upon himself and his family, which can be partially alliviated through his death defending his clan and family against ogres.
I have been skimming along, not really reading the thread and just waiting on screencaps. Thanks for doing this.

However, I think these are mislabeled or something was missed. Last thread ended with screencap 12, while the earliest caps here start with 15. 13 and 14 are missing or mislabeled.
you can find links too the last two caps here >>52600640
> Do you know the joke about the Bear Clan bushi and the drunken geisha?
>No. I must say, I never heard of this Clan before.
> that is, like this joke, it doesn't exist.
Rokugani jokes are the worst
>muh "I can swim"
A dead leaf
fall less abruptly
than this joke
Mist makes people dicks
Monkey is shonen protag
Hug gets pretty gay
Ishigaki tetsubo
steam of brutal blows
making sweet Crab poetry
bumping this for crabanon. I'm not even reading yet, just collecting screencaps for later.
Drinking from the jug
No time for formality
Hand me the sake
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to make a haiku
use five then seven then five
you foolish anons

this anon gets it
perfect form and a punchline
like pic related
my bad, I tought it was 7-5-7 instead of 5-7-5.

It would be something like:
Steam of brutal blow
Ishigaki tetsubo
sweet Crab poetry
Ideally, a proper Haiku is also, Ironic, I guess is the word I'm looking for. With the last line telling everyone what it's really about.

Old, silent forest
A leaf floats down the river
Steel flashes, red grass

Is about a duel, for example.
A grand empire
Ten thousand citizens live
In the largest town
Firstly thanks so much to Crab-Sama for telling these great stories, I've enjoyed reading them a lot. I am going to run an L5R game for my group (never played l5r and haven't gm'd in years) and your work is making me even more excited. Although none of the plot I've written so far really overlaps with your tale I am sure that the extra enthusiasm and setting familiarity I have gained from reading will improve things for my players.

Secondly I was wondering if someone could clear up a little bit of the 4th ed. system I'm having a little trouble with: as GM should I be telling players the TNs required for success? The book doesn't seem to say one way or the other which gives me the impression that the default is either to keep them secret or it is to GM preference... the thing is that the raise mechanic feels very risk/reward which makes me feel like making them public might work better, or even be what was intended. Could some people with experience in the system let me know which they feel works better and why? I'd also like to know which way the writers intended, but that is just for curiosity's sake as I'd rather run whichever works best than whichever was intended.
>Ishigaki-kun, I want to take Daiko and Tetsute with us.
>Um. I know their strong and all but I don't think they're quite ready for ogres yet. Gonna need a few more months at least.
>Ishigaki! I am serious.
>I... I want to show them my home. Where I came from. At least once in their lives.
>I hugged Naomi.
>I understand Naomi, but there is something you must understand as well.
>I have been outraged on your behalf at the way your father treats you. But, since my rage is on you behalf you have the right to hold me back.
>If he treats either of our children that way, nothing will hold me back.
>if he treats our children that way, I would not want you to hold back.
>I do not think he will though, Ishigaki. He is kind to Ashitaka.
>That surprised me, at first.
>Then I realized. Ashitaka was still young. He would be enrolled in a school soon enough, but he was still very much a blank scroll.
>A scroll Shoji no doubt intended to fill himself.
>I did not voice my suspicions to Naomi.
>But I resolved then and there that he would not have any such influence on my children.
>Evil is an easy thing to define.
>evil is the person who spills their blood as they whisper prayers to the Dark Brother.
>evil is the dead, defiled and walking, seeking the flesh of the living.
>evil is the mass of tentacles, and fangs, dripping with ichor, that was never meant to walk in Ningen-do.
>Good is much more difficult to define.
>Honorable was a bit more clear, but was it good?
>Was it right?
>Shoji, for all his faults, was an honorable man.
>One who acts without honor will quickly find themselves shunned by all right thinking people.
>This is true, even in my own Clan.
>While we Crabs do hold some tenants of Bushido higher than others, and will throw away everything to defeat the Shadowlands, we do not do so when we war with other clans.
>And so Shoji must behave honorably, if for nothing else then his own ambitions.
Crab the moral philosopher. Who would have thought?
>If it seems a man clinging to honor for the sake of his own gain seems contradictory, that's because it is.
>Courtesy and Compasion are tenants of Bushido, the code of conduct held by Samurai, whose entire existence is war.
>I said it before, did I not?
>There has never existed a Perfect Samurai.
>and so it is that Shoji, the bastard that he is, was still an honorable man.
>In the eyes of some Rokugani, he would be a proper father.
>In the eyes of many, he would be stern, but not unreasonable.
>Only a few, like me, would see him as a bastard.
>Despite everything he had done, Shoji was not evil.
>Many would say he was right, or at least, not wrong.
>So while I spoke of defying him, of defying the proper order of things, of defying Honorable behavior itself, I would need to keep a very tight leash on my anger.
>Satisfying though it may be to simply punch him until his face is an unrecognizable mess, there would be consequences for such action.
>I had learned the last time I interacted with him not to be hasty.
>As Sensei had hardened my body, so to must I harden my spirit. So that I would be ready to endure what I must.
>Until the time was right to make him pay.
>Naomi made arangments, securing a boat that would take us around the mountains that divided the Empire.
>Fall was closing in, the mountain passes would be treacherous soon enough.
>Toshiro arrived while she handled those details.
>He was just returning from his visit with his sensei, and was surprised to learn what was going on.
>Oka-san asked Toshiro to speak with Ashitaka a bit about Earth magic.
>The boys future had already been decided by Shoji. He would become an Earth Tensai, as the family custom dictated.
>After his conversation, Toshiro came to me first.
>Boy has a keen mind, in some ways.
>Yeah. He makes connections that others would not see. It's a simple wisdom, but it runs deep. His soul is old indeed.
>I'm sensing a but.
>No talent for hearing the earth kami.
One of the reasons Naomi fell in love with Ishigaki was the fact that he thought about shit like this from time to time.
Welp. I guess boy's loving father just went out for a pack of smokes and is never coming back.
How would he know that if it's something that's been determined just now?
He doesn't, but if Toshiro can figure it out in a few hours, I imagine it won't be long now.
Toshiro figured it out after talking to him about specific topic. Judging from what we know about daddy, he never talked to the boy about that. So if things had gone uninterrupted it would be discovered only after Ashitaka'd be enrolled into his studies.
And then dad would probably disown him rather than go for smokes himself.
>So he can't be an earth tensai?
>No, he could. But even with the heavy focus of Tensai training, he'd only be average at best with earth.
>He would be better off NOT being a tensai at all, I think.
>I grunted.
>All children are born with ability to hear the Kami.
>Despite that, few would ever be trained as Shugenja.
>Simply because most would not ever be good at it.
>It was not enough to simply hear the Kami.
>You must be able to understand them, and make yourself understood by them, as well.
>This required certain traits, a particular mindset, that simply could not be trained.
>Once a child's schooling begins, their path is set for life.
>No Shugenja will ever be able to learn the techniques of a bushi school
>No bushi will ever cast magic.
>Indeed, for those who are not trained as shugenja, the ability to hear the kami fades quickly as one ages.
>Shoji was going to doom his youngest son to a life of mediocrity, when he could be so much more.
>I could just picture the joy on Oka-san's face when she heard the news.
>As fortune would have it, Naomi was resting with her mother on the porch overlooking the garden.
>And it was, at least now, a proper garden.
>Stones had been set up in small shapes, turning it into sections.
>most were bare sand, raked into patterns Naomi assured me meant something.
>But there was a small patch of flowers. Blue with five petals.
>Naomi called them Wasurenagusa.
>We even had Koi in our Koi pond.
>My punching rock was still there, but it was now the centerpiece of a shrine of some sort.
>Shugenja are priests, after all.
>Some people forget that.
>I wondered if whatever deity or spirit Naomi was placating with that shrine would be upset if I made use of my punching rock.
>I'd ask later.
>Toshiro and I sat down, and he broke the news to Oka-san as gently as he could
>Your kid shouldn't be a tensai.
>Toshiro was not very good at being gentle.
>he elaborated, babbling on about spiritual things that I not follow.
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Libraianon here, dipping in to say hello.

I've got the source file for the pdf as a google doc now it crashed firefox the first time I tried to copy it in, so thats neat.

I'm going to start the arduous process of editing soonish. I'm taking the entirety of the story as something of a journal, but I'm not an english major so I'll probably need some help with tense.

Once its in a presentable version I'll drop a public link. Maybe with suggestions, because /tg/ is a relatively chill board.
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>152 pages

Fuck me.
Personally I'm surprised crab anon remembers all this in detail, maybe he takes very good notes.
More fun facts, I won't bring down the image limit now.

> 6440 ' > 's
Possibly his notes, plus he's got the GM of the story who we know to have kept notes as well.
Plus, personally I remember the details of my own campaigns that I enjoyed rather well.
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>>Toshiro and I sat down, and he broke the news to Oka-san as gently as he could
>>Your kid shouldn't be a tensai.
Ahahahah, fuckin' crabs, man, them fuckin' crabs.
>I folded my arms, nodding along in time with his words.
>I don't think I fooled anyone there, but at least I tired.
>Oka-san, despite not being a shugenja herself, seemed to understand him just fine.
>Given that her whole family were Shugenja, I didn't surprise me she would understand such mystical and esoteric things.
>Naomi joined in the conversation.
>I gave up tying to fool anyone and stared longingly at my punching rock.
>The conversation came back down to my level when talk turned from what he should not do to what he could do, but it went back up just as quickly.
>Daiko must have sensed my distress, because she picked that moment to joint us.
>By crashing through the rice paper outer wall.
>I scooped her up, spun her around a few times, and took her inside, swooping her around as though she was flying.
>I managed to overhear Oka-san over my daughters delighted giggles.
>Naomi! You should discipline your children better! Such behavior, it's unseemly.
>Maybe for a Pheonix, but my children are Crab, mother.
>As a fish grows to meet the size of it's pond, so will I give my children plenty of room to grow large and strong.
>They will inherit a solemn duty one day; and I will prepare them for it in accordance with their own nature. I will not stifle them to suit my own personal feelings.
>Godamnit I love it when Naomi talks dirty like that.
>What do you think Daiko, would you like another brother, or maybe a sister?
>Okay then.
>That night, Naomi and I bowed to our daughters superior wisdom.
>We left in the morning to go save the life of the biggest bastard in the Empire.
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That, yes. The big events and things that had us all laughing our asses off or in pissed irl stand out. And I'm just making up shit when I don't remember who did or said what exactly

Fun Fact time. Naomi CAN make this face, but only has once as far as Ishigaki has seen. After his drunken brawl. Naomi's mother, and Monkey's wife, have both mastered it.

Leaving off here for tonight. Just tossing up a few more posts to let everyone know I didn't die or anything. If all goes well tomorrow we'll have full body char art of Ishigaki, Naomi and maybe Monkey. Last I checked Moneky was still WIP, though.
And we're closer to the middle then we are the end, I think.
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>I folded my arms, nodding along in time with his words.
>I don't think I fooled anyone there, but at least I tired.

>I gave up tying to fool anyone and stared longingly at my punching rock.

>Daiko must have sensed my distress, because she picked that moment to joint us.
>By crashing through the rice paper outer wall.

>I wondered if whatever deity or spirit Naomi was placating with that shrine would be upset if I made use of my punching rock.
You should tell players the TN's yes. It's because of the raise system. Be aware that people CAN call raised on contested rolls. It just means that the guy calling the raises has to beat whatever his opponent rolls by the normal amount of raises they call. It's just a balsey thing to do.
Bump for worshipping punch rocks.
Thanks, I figured that was the case. It just isn't how I'm used to RPGs working so I thought I should ask.
>>Daiko must have sensed my distress, because she picked that moment to joint us.
>>By crashing through the rice paper outer wall.
And to think, you were upset by the thought that she'd end up like O-Ushi!

Little one cares not
Of bowing and kowtowing
Or some flimsy wall
Am I the only one worried THEM are going to go after the kids?

Every time a happy heart warming moment with them happens I imagine some idiot thinking he can crush Crab San using them as bait or a sacrifice or something else equally horrible if the group isn't fast enough to stop them.
I get a feeling that at one point they will.
Spring turns to Autumn
A bastard gets caught by ogres
Crab does his duty
Drop the 'A' or 'gets' from line two and you are golden.
The thundering storm
Faraway in Phenix land
Family meeting
Prey stalks among the
shadows. The jade hunters give
chase with no respite.
just know that I love you. No homo.
What L5R edition do you play?
They started on 3rd edition and switched to 4th mid-campaign.
thanks anon
>We set sail on a Yasuki vessel.
>The captain was a jovial fellow, his frame padded out with the comfortable fat of one who eats well, and often.
>Dainty hands, that had never held a weapon or pulled a rope.
>After a few days it was quite clear that he knew less about sailing than I did.
>I wondered if he inherited this boat, or stumbled into it.
>It didn't matter either way, he was a vital member of my Clan.
>Most Samurai, even Mantis, who took up some form of buisiness became merchant patrons.
>They hired peasants to handle the dirty buisiness of haggling and exchanging money directly.
>Learning only enough about commerce to tell if the one they hired was doing a good job or not.
>Yasuki were very often in the stalls themselves, making the deals personally.
>Such a hands on aporach is one of the reasons the Crane censured the Yasuki family.
>The other reason was that Yasuki had a tendency not to play fair.
>The Crane were far more concerned about the WAY things were accomplished, then on actually getting anything done.
>The Yasuki, rather than accept the admonitions of their Clan, told the Crane if they didn't have use for them, the Yasuki would simply find someone who would.
>This was in the middle of the very first inter-clan war.
>It was between the Crab and Crane.
>And so the Yasuki helped turn the tide of that war by joining the Crab.
>For most courtiers of Rokugan, should they deal with Crabs at all, it is Yasuki they will meet.
>but not the Crane. The hatred runs to deep.
>So diplomacy between the Crab and Crane is handled by the Hida and the Daidoji, who earned my Clan's respect at the Battle of the Tidal Landbridge.
>You would think that some Crabs would mock the Yasuki family, for it was rare indeed for one to don armor or take up a scroll satchel and face the Shadowlands directly.
>They were openly merchants
>Some among their family were even as ignorant of the Shadowlands as the rest of Rokugan.
>And you would be right.
It can be

Old man bitch loudly
Carts slide down the hill swiftly
Children follow behind
>And you would be right.
>But not for those reasons.
>Young bushi would often mock the Yasuki.
>But that was because they wished for the entire empire to simply provide the Crab with whatever food and jade our Clan could not produce on our own.
>They lived in barracks along the wall, and wondered why the rest of the Clans were such fools that they did not willingly aid their eternal protectors.
>To their minds, the Yasuki simply should not be necessary.
>But that was simply not the way things worked.
>For every bushel of rice, for every finger of jade, the other clans would demand something in return.
>because they all had things they needed but could not produce for themselves.
>The Dragon Clan lived high up in the mountains and had as little arable land as we did.
>The master artisans of the Kakita family only used Kaiu steel in the forging of their famous blades.
>Such was the reality of the world.
>It hadn't changed in over a thousand years, and it was not going to any time soon.
>So I greeted the Captain with genuine warmth, for I knew he was doing his part to aid the Clan just as any other.
>Naomi wondered aloud why there were no Mantis vessels sailing to the Phoenix lands.
>Port towns had ships from all over the Empire in them
>Usually one could find a ship from any Clan you would care to going wherever you were headed.
>The Captain laughed.
>Oh, the Mantis are at it again.
>They seem to take perverse delight in picking on the Phoenix.
>Likely just making empty threats so they can get some concessions from the Phoenix this winter.
>He shrugged.
>The Phoenix will make some unfavorable deals with the Mantis, and try to make up for it elsewhere.
>The glint in his eyes told me he had an idea how to capitalize on that.
>And if not then there will be one their 'wars'
>He scoffed
>Where the Mantis make a few raids but never commit enough troops for the Phoenix to be justified in unleashing the full power of their magic.
>It hadn't changed in over a thousand years
Hasn't the value of the Koku literally devalued by a factor of 12 in the last 1000 years?
>The Captain was so caught up in showing off his knowledge of the world he completly failed to notice Naomi's discomfort.
>The Phoenix and the Crane were the two Clans that most sought to avoid war.
>They would even interfere in other Clans war to try and bring peace.
>There were plenty of Phoenix who were idealistic, pacifistic or held life in high regard.
>Naomi was proof enough of that.
>But I was a bit more cynical about the Phoenix clan as a whole.
>When the Crab clan must attack, there is an ideal battle plan we strive to enact.
>First, the Hiruma will attack the enemy at a time and place they are not expecting, often at night when most of the enemy is asleep.
>Once the enemy responds and forms up battle lines, the Hiruma run.
>Just slowly enough the enemy gives chase.
>Into a field prepared ahead of time by the Kiau.
>The Hiruma avoid the traps, while the enemy fall into them.
>Confused, tired, and wounded, the enemy is then engulfed by the Hida heavy infantry, and ground to dust.
>However, there is one thing about this plan that changes depending on who we face.
>Against the forces of Jigoku, the traps are cruel and deadly.
>Against another Clan, they are annoying.
>Whears an Oni will fall into a 10 foot deep pit and onto bamboo spears covered in jade powderwe would use poison as well, if it were not for the fact that most poisons have little to no effect on Oni a Samurai will fall into an ankle deep depression and twist their ankle.
>Simply put, we hold back when we fight honorable foes.
>If we fought with all our might, with every tool and trick on full display, our Clan would be disgraced in the Courts, and severely censured by the Emperor.
>Just as what happened with the Crane clan when the existence of the Daidoji harrier school was revealed.
>So while some could say it was the Phoenix clan that had the most military might at it's disposal, it could not always bring it's full power to a battle.
Does that mean the amount of rice a koku represents is 1/12, or that the amount of effort to generate that much rice is 1/12?
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>Crab Dominance
the former
Yeah but no one admits that. Just like how no one admits the map of the Empire is wrong. The fist map of the Empire was commissioned by the Emperor. At the time, cartography tools were kind of shit. But no one can say the Emperor's map is wrong. So the Empire is bigger than everyone says it is. Same thing with the money. One Koku represents enough rice to feed a man for a year and no one would dare suggest otherwise. Expereinced travelers know it will take longer than it should to get somewhere, and experienced merchants know a Koku won't feed one person for a year.

But Ishigaki was speaking more about the fact that clans trade with one another for what they need. They always have, and they always will.

The Otomo family of the Imperial Families makes sure of that. It's an Empire, after all. The Otomo make sure the clans are too divided and never have enough resources stockpiled to threaten the Emperor. But that is a REALLY BIG SECRET.
>Dropping a mountain onto a few hundred samurai would raise some eyebrows at court, to say the least.
>So the Phoenix were the Mantis' ideal punching rock.
>Quick, limited raids utizling the Mantis' naval power did not really allow for the Phoenix justification to bring the full might of the magic to the war.
>I shook my head. Mantis-san was no coward, but his clan sure did love to bully people who could not fight back.
>Daiko and Tetsute enjoyed the spray from the sea foam as the ship cut into the waves.
>We reached the Lands of the Phoenix with no trouble.
>We entered into the castle of Naomi's father, and were greeted by his Karo.
>Well, Naomi's mother was greeted by the Karo.
>Welocome back, Isawa-sama. The other members of the Jade Magistrates entourage have already arrived.
>My husband?
>He has not returned yet, but we recived word a few days ago. He says the campaign goes well and it is only the cowardice of the bandits that drags it on.
>I managed not to cough out the word bullshit.
>The Karo took us to the others, and we exchanged warm greetings.
>We could not dally long bragging about the results of our training, however. Time was precious.
>I turned to the Karo.
>You know where Shoji...-sama is now?
>Yes, the Forest of Stone.
>Naomi looked startled.
>The bandits are there?
>Hai, Crab-san.
>I managed not to punch the Karo.
>He knew damn well who Naomi was.
>Calling her by her clan and clan alone was telling her she was a stranger to him now.
>Naomi fell silent, stung by his rejection.
>The Karo made a hasty excuese and left us then.
>Given the fact he was getting icy stares from a panted Kuni, a Kitsuki, and three bushi, I wasn't surpised.
>Naomi-sama, you know this place?
>She looked up,
>Hai, it is an old Forrest my family has tended to for centuries. The Earth Kami are drawn to the place.
>Then lead on, let us go and deal with these traitors and their pet monsters.
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Sooo... as promised by someone who ISN'T me, here are some pieces of character art.

They're not great, little more than rushed line-art jobs. But hear my excuse out!

So I get into the office to use the scanner today, as promised. However, the scanner we have isn't great at capturing the sketches to where they're visible. I end up having to up the contract to something like 89% so the lines would be dark enough to see and this makes the sketches a mess. So I take the sketches to my desk, grab out a pencil from the small kit I keep there, and start doing to touching up.

Then I learn that the office is decommissioning the scanner today. Fuck! So my touching up became a rushed job and the pics suffered for it.

Anyone, enough excuses, here's the first piece of character art; the star of our story: Ishigaki!
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And his loving wife: Naomi!
They're very cute.
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Huh... I had imagined him a bit more like pic related
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This is the best thing I've read in the whole story so far.

>>What do you think Daiko, would you like another brother, or maybe a sister?
>>Okay then.
>>That night, Naomi and I bowed to our daughters superior wisdom.
Fun fact: telling these stories brought forth a wave of ultraweeb so we went ahead and got that game. Of course I main that guy, but Ishigaki is more body builder than sumo. He does have a mempo, but for obvious reasons ForeverGM left it off.

I know, without any sort of scale, the picture doesn't convey just how massive Ishigaki is compared to the rest of the party. *sigh*
>Toshiro came to a dead stop as soon as we passed under the first few trees.
>What is it, Toshiro?
>The earth kami. They're singing.
>he looked at me sadly.
>I wish you could hear it, Ishigaki.
>he was not sad for me.
>Toshiro did not pity me for not being able to hear the Kami any more than I pitied him for not being able to run.
>He was sad because there was a world he lived in I did not.
>We could speak about many things, understood one other so well we often did not have to.
>But this was one subject I could not share with him.
>For that matter, Shugenja are often shaped by, or perhaps already suited to, their respective elements. A shugenja of fire will see magic and the Kami differently than a shugenja of air.
>I realized then, just how lonely it must be to be a shugenja at times.
>Not even Naomi would see this forest the same way Toshiro did.
>I clapped him on the shoulder. I knew he would not want to be pitied.
>He nodded, and we set off deeper into the woods.
>Naomi called upon the water kami to lead us to her father. Combined with her knowledge of the land, we made good time.
>We found Shoji and what was left of his soldiers in a large clearing.
>A stone pillar jutted up from out of the middle of it, and the clearing sand down to it.
>As though it had been tossed down from the heavens, and made a large crater with the force of it's impact.
>Which, when I considered how the earth kami loved this forest, was probably not far from the truth.
>What is this? Who are you, identify yourselves!
>The boy wearing the Shiba clan mon on his armor pointed his Naginata at us.
>Naomi stepped out ahead of me.
>I am Hida Naomi, Jade magistrate. This is Kuni Toshiro also a Jade magistrate. And these are our Yoriki. We have come to give aid.
>Relief flooded the young bushi's face.
>He brought us in to the makeshift camp set up.
>They were in bad shape. Maybe a few dozen samurai left standing, some wounded.
>There was a lone ashigaru, standing watch.
>>>He has not returned yet, but we received word a few days ago. He says the campaign goes well and it is only the cowardice of the bandits that drags it on.
What is he, like seven feet tall?
6'4" Average Rokugani is 5'6" and Naomi is 5' even.

Aparantly ForverGM meant bulk with that post you replied to. he's reading over my shoulder

Standing above all
Imposing as The Hida
Remember to duck

When I was in Japan as a 6'4" norseman, you quickly learn that the country was not designed for you, and your forehead is attracted to every door frame. Not to mention the stares and giggling school girls as you try to avoid bashing your head on stuff.
>I could see what Shoji's plan had been, just from the state of his troops.
>His plan had been simple. Samurai form a wall of flesh to protect him. Ahisgaru form a second wall to protect the Samurai. He destroys the Ogres.
>He probably assumed that once the Ogres were devastated by his magic the bandits would lose their will to fight, and be quickly death with by his remaining forces.
>Naive. Assuming bandits could never be the match of Samurai because of class.
>He was hardly the first idiot to make that assumption. He would certainly not be the last.
>I just wished it wasn't my job to save him from his own stupidity.
>Naomi began reaching into her satchel as she moved to a wounded bushi.
>Naomi. Stop.
>Do not waste your magic. Get those up who can still fight, no more.
>Ishigaki-kun, why?
>He's right Naomi-san.
>Toshiro and I were both scaning the treeline intently.
>The others caught on to our tension.
>What is it, Ishigaki-san?
>The others, not even Mantis-san and Monkey, were used to open battles as Toshiro and I were.
>They did not see what we did.
>We were in the middle of a death trap.
>The trees around the edge of the clearing grew thick, and their leaves cast everything within into deep shadow.
>We were all out in the open, for everyone to see.
>Many bore obvious injuries. All were fatigued.
>And we were downhill from the edge of the forest.
>I glanced at Toshiro, then the rock.
>He nodded, confirming my suspicions.
>This then, was the center of the woods, the place where the earth kami were most drawn to.
>Shoji, despite his plan failing before, was going to keep doing what he had been.
>That is to say, thinking like a shugenja, and not a commander.
>Speaking of, he finally noticed us and came over.
>What is the meaning of this... YOU!
>GO! Leave this place at once, you cretins! You disrupt my plan to take the enemy!
>You mean your plan to throw away the lives of you men while you continue to fail to strike a killing blow?
>He slapped me for that.
>I didn't even feel it.
>he, on the other hand, gashed his hand on my mempo.
>Father, PLEASE!
>Naomi put herself between me and her father.
>Mother asked me to come, and as a Jade Magistrate it is my duty to do so!
>The Shiba were watching intently now. If any of them did not know who Naomi was, they did now.
>You have become a jade magistrates now?
>Hah! How did you manage that feat you little trollop?
>I returned his slap to him.
>To his credit, he stayed on his feet.
>Toshiro spoke to diffuse the situation before it could get any more out of hand.
>He presented his own chop.
>You may be a Daimyo, but this is now a matter for the Jade Magistrates. You will be silent as we correct you failure.
>You do NOT have the authority to command ME! Jade Magistrate or not!
>Mantis-san decided to take a crack at Shoji.
>We don't need to command you. Nor do we need your consent. We just need these Samurai you have been thoughtlessly squandering.
>Shoji laughed.
>Shiba swore fealty to Isawa, you fool! So it was, and so it shall be! These Shiba will not break their oaths to assist fools like you!
I have to give you and your Gm credit. It's been quite a while since someone has made me hate someone in a story like I hate Shoji
>They will if they want to have any hope of getting you back to castle alive.
>A Shiba stood up, opening his mouth to weigh in on our polite debate over who was in charge
>And swallowed an arrow before he could say anything.
>Monkey caught the Shiba as he fell, and Naomi was already there, healing him.
>Shoji ordered his men to form a circle around the stone and placed his back to it.
>I called out for them to form a wedge.
>They formed a wedge.
>More arrows came.
>I tucked my head behind my sode, and caught several on it.
>Another struck my Kabuto and slid off.
>Mantis-san's armor protected him as well.
>Kitsuki-san looked on almost calmly, and twisted like a reed before a gale.
>Nothing touched him.
>Monkey threw himself over the wounded Shiba
>An arrow bit into his bicep.
>I'm fine Naomi-sama, keep going!
>She did
>Due to the way Toshiro's lame leg twisted, another arrow was able to strike him in the calf.
>He scowled at it, then rolled his eyes and shook his head.
>Be ready!
>I yelled to the Shiba
>When the Ogres come, we charge into them!
>Do NOT stop to fight! Keep moving!
>We have to get out of this circle!
>Shoji tried to counter my orders
>Do not listen to this fool! Our power is greatest here, we cannot lose!
>Mantis-san backhanded Shoji. Hard.
>This time Shoji did hit the dirt.
>you were told to shut up.
>Now shut up and let us save you.
>As I suspected, the Ogres came.
>Spread out along the entire edge of the clearing.
>Then they charged, the downward slope adding to their speed and power. They meant to finish us off.
>I was glad they were so eager.
>If they had held their ground and simply allowed the bandits to expend their arrows we would have died.
>As it was, with their size, wieght and speed, there were not enough bodies left to halt them.
>The Ogres would have crushed the Shiba beneath them and then they would have torn Shoji limb from limb.
>I was at the very tip of the wedge. The first thing they would hit.
>I ordered the charge
>The first Ogre slammed into me, not even bothering with his weapon.
>It itended to knock me down with it's momentum, trample over me.
>I sank my stance low, held my tetsuo parallel to it's waist.
>And twisted.
>The ogre was unbalanced by it's downhill charge
>it fell to my side.
>GO! Keep going! To the woods!
>My plan was simple.
>In the tightly packed trees, the ogres would be unable to fight together. Even the bandits would be broken up into smaller groups.
>This would neutralize the numerical advantage Shoji had continually given them so he could have clear lines of sight.
>After that, it would be a mater of endurance. defeat one small group of enemies, then face the next. And the next. And the next. Until we died or won.
>We pushed on, the Shiba along the edges of the wedge following my lead and using the Ogres own momentum to topple them, while the Shiba in the center braced their fellows, keeping them from being bowled over by the Ogres charge.
>We broke through their line.
>Once in the woods, Mantis-san realized what I planned.
>He moved quickly, despite his heavy armor. A green shadow scything his way trhough bandits, never staying still.
>Monkey cut one down, took the bandits bow and arrows and climbed into a tree.
>Kitsuki-san stayed near Naomi, his blade flashed out of it's saya and cut down the first bandit that approached.
>Toshiro and I turned. We could leave the bandits to the Shiba and the others.
>The Ogres were realizing what we had done, and were forming up again.
>This time, they would be the ones charging uphill.
>On my left Toshiro readied a scroll.
>And Shoji readied one of his own on my right.
>So there were limits to how stupid he would allow his pride to make him.
>The Ogres came, and were met with a wall of Jade power from the two shugenja.
>One dove through, and I struck it, shattering it's collarbone and sending it rolling down the circle.
>Two more engaged us, raining blows down on me.
>I fully understood the value of my new training in that moment.
>The Ogres blows seemed feeble.
>Even with such heavy weapons I disrupted their taint with my purity, I broke their water with my earth.
>My armor did the rest.
>I continued to bring my tetsubo down upon the Ogres, Blow after blow, I sent them tumbling down while Shoji and Tohiro burned them.
>Before I knew it, there were no more ogres.
>We turned, breathing hard, to see how the fight with the bandits fared.
>There were no more bandits.
>We had won.
>I glanced sidelong at Shoji.
>And wondered just how costly he planned on making this victory.
>All children are born with ability to hear the Kami.
>Using d20 edition fluff
Pretty much how I imagined, except I thought he'd have a kickass mustache as well.
>I didn't even feel it.
>he, on the other hand, gashed his hand on my mempo.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
>>Do not listen to this fool! Our power is greatest here, we cannot lose!
>Mantis-san backhanded Shoji. Hard.
>This time Shoji did hit the dirt.
>>you were told to shut up.
>>Now shut up and let us save you.

Go Mantis! First time I actually cheered for him in this tale.
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Capcha trying to send me a message
>Dragon duels crab.webm
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I'm just imagine everyone starting their sentences with slapping Shoji across the face.

I love this story.
Bump for awesome
Steps of giants thunder
Beneath the shades of the wood
Silent steps drown them
>>A Shiba stood up, opening his mouth to weigh in on our polite debate over who was in charge
>>And swallowed an arrow before he could say anything.
>>... and Naomi was already there, healing him.

What's the point?
That guy survived getting arrow to the face/mouth? She can revive people? That was not meant to be taken that literally?
> through mouth
> out cheek
There ya go.
>I don't know how large a force Shoji lead to deal with the bandits
>I know only that we went back with 19 Shiba and one ashigaru
>I carried Naomi
>She had exhausted her magic, and herself, making sure we would bring that many back.
>Ishigaki-kun, I can still walk, you know?
>What people can do, and what they should do are rarely the same thing Naomi. Rest now.
>She rested her head against my chest and allowed me to spoil her.
>Shoji stayed silent the whole way.
>His soldiers had chosen to disobey him, and the only person in my group that didn't hate him, was the one he hated the most.
>He probably suspected that if he pitched a fit now a bandit's arrow would find it's way into his heart.
>I could not say for certain he was wrong about that.
>So he fummed silently. Only the throbing of the vein in his temple betraying his fury.
>Like the subtle warnings before an avalanche.
>Kitsuki-san came up beside me and whispered
>We will have to allow him to take credit for the defeat of the Ogres.
>We were a bit rough in the way we took over, and he is still a high ranking Lord.
>I know, there were extenuating circumstances. We were not quite wrong. But neither were we wholly right.
>He could make a scene.
>So we will allow him to save face.
>Giving him the credit means that if he complains about how we took over he reveals his own failure, and our success.
>I nodded slowly.
>I didn't like the idea, but we had all seen Hohiro do something similar once to diffuse his father's anger.
>Shoji was not upset about getting struck, or that we userped his authority nearly as much as he was upset over the damage to his reputation.
>At my nod Kitsuki-san fell back to tell the others the plan.
>We returned to the castle.
>Welcome back my lord! I trust the campaign went well?
>Kitsuki-san swooped in to answer
You don't really swallow it if it flies through your cheek and leaves through another though.
>Kitsuki-san went on in spectacular fashion, speaking at length about how the Bandits had set up traps and used other cowardly tactics to slowly whittle down Shoji's forces.
>Until Shoji devised a plan to trick them into committing to an all out engagement.
>Then, taking position at the head of his forces, Shoji lead the charge into the heart of the enemey
>Where he personally slew the Ogre champion.
>That was twice as large as me, apparently.
>Mantis-san came over while Kitsuki-san contined.
>he muttered under his breath to me
>Don't you think he's laying it on a BIT thick?
>I looked over at Shoji. Gave my head a jerk
>Mantis-san looked
>Shoji was puffing himself up further at every word.
>At this point the concern was not how believable Kitsuki-san's story was, but rather if Shoji's mortal frame would be unable to contain that much smug and simply explode before Kitsuki-san finished.
>Sadly, Shoji had trained his body well.
>used to containing his nearly divine arrogance, it contained the smug with no ill effects.
>Is this true, my Lord.
>Shoji nodded emphatically.
>I am not, by nature, a braggart so I will say that Dragon-san exaggerated a bit.
>But yes, it is true that the bandits would not have been bested without me.
>Monkey whispered to Mantis-san and me.
>Is it though?
>Mantis-san whispered back
>He is the Lord, and we won by making use of his samurai. So yeah. It kinda is.
>Toshiro added to that.
>Did you notice? He even told the truth of the matter, that Kitsuki-san was exaggerating the role he played.
>Technically, Shoji did not lie. He just knew what everyone would assume, and that no one would ask for further details.
>Monkey blinked at that
>Wow what a slimy bastard
>We nodded along in agreement
>Very good my Lord! Shall I send word to the delegation that all is ready for their arrival then?
>Shoji gave the Curt Nod of Assent
>Shoji then turned to the Shiba and praised their steadfast courage and selfless devotion to their duty
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>At this point the concern was not how believable Kitsuki-san's story was, but rather if Shoji's mortal frame would be unable to contain that much smug and simply explode before Kitsuki-san finished.
>Sadly, Shoji had trained his body well.
>used to containing his nearly divine arrogance, it contained the smug with no ill effects.

top kek


Me thinks it should not be taken literally. Much like how someone who "eats hot lead" is not actually dining on ammunition fired from a gun. Ishigaki is just being poetic.
Most likely, but I'm autistic so I wanted to be certain.
>It was then that the full genius of Kitsuki-san's plan was made apparent to me.
>A surprised grunt told me Mantis-san had come to the same conclusion I had.
>Shoji's interpretation of history was wrong
>Shiba did NOT swear fealty to Isawa.
>Shiba DID however, kneel before Isawa as Isawa swore fealty to Shiba. Isawa also insisted that Shiba swear that his descendants would protect Isawa's descendants for all time.
>So when a Shiba must protect an Isawa hell bent on doing something suicdally stupid, and that Isawa is the Shiba's lord, the Shiba is placed in a difficult position.
>Do they betray Shiba's oath by allowing their lord to get killed?
>Do they fight, futilely, and die knowing that their Lord would follow right behind them?
>Or did they disobey, save their lords life, and commit seppuku for disobeying orders?
>They had disobeyed Shoji not out of any sort of malice towards him.
>They did so because it was the only way they could uphold their duty.
>Shoji was such an ass that I had overlooked this possibility
>My estimation of those Shiba rose sharply.
>Most Rokugani would have chosen the second option.
>They would have died honorably, and gone to their ancestors in glory.
>These ones chose to sacrifice their honor, >knowing they would die to cleanse their shame.
>Knowing their deaths would save the life of their Lord.
>Knowing Shoji, he was likely prepared to order them all to write their death poems the second we returned.
>But he could not now; it would raise uncomfortable questions.
>Kitsuki-san had just saved nineteen lives with an overacted speech.
>Not a bad days work, Kitsuki-san.
>We slipped away to get purified and bathe
>What do you suppose the Karo meant by, the delegation?
>Kistuki-san asked the servant leading us to the bath if he knew who the delegates were
>Oh yes great samurai! Isawa-dono has been given the honor of hosting the Mantis delegation for the peace talks!

>Oh yes great samurai! Isawa-dono has been given the honor of hosting the Mantis delegation for the peace talks!

Smells fishy or is it just me?
If Kitsuki player actually planned all that then props to him, that was smooth.
You're talking about Mantis. Of course, it will smell fishy! They live on the sea as Unicorn live on their horse.
[laughs in Lion]
I specified mouth and cheek, not cheek and cheek, you dingdong.
I've heard that the Unicorn do very queer things to their horses; things that I would not call "living." What, then, do you think the Mantis do to their ships?
Something they couldn't figure out to do with their wives.
I think you are confusing the ways of two clans. That's the Lion way to do the things you suggest with their namesake.
Their ships do come with a rowdy crew of strong men...
What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little eta? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Akodo School, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Kolat, and I have over 300 confirmed kills.

I am trained in oni warfare and I’m the top bushi in the entire Imperial forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will slash you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before in Rokugan, mark my fucking words.

You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the letters? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of Scorpion allies across the Emerald Empire and your clan is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your honour. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my katana.

Not only am I extensively trained in kenjutsu, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the Lion Clan and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” note was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue.

But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn gaijin. I will shit bushido all over you and you will drown in it.

You’re fucking dead, kiddo.
> I will slash you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before in Rokugan, mark my fucking word.
You are wrong. I watch plenty of kitten trying to catch butterfly, Matsu-san. And I wouldn't mark your "fucking word" anywhere, it would be rude to write sunch obscenity on anything.

>You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the letters?
No, I think I can get away with my ships. Over your sinking body.

>you better prepare for the storm
We ARE the Storm. It's a part of our great fleet. Remember?

> I have access to the entire arsenal of the Lion Clan and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent
First, wipe you mouth of the foul langage you are employing. Or wear a diaper on your head. Second, you are misinformed, Matsu-san. I live on an island, not on the continent. It seems you are indeed in dire need of, ha, Scorpion expertise.

>I will shit bushido all over you and you will drown in it.
My, my, someone have incontinence problems. Don't forget to get a lot more of Bushido, you may die if you don't have any. And according to the lines you sent me, you seem to have spread a great deal of it.
>You’re fucking dead, kiddo
You're fucking dead, Akodo
How much of a newfag can you be?
Bump because it's on page 9
You did well
Too well. He's probably a bog witch working for THEM intending to steal the thread
Are you kidding me son
>The Karo showed up in our room later on in the evening.
>No announcement, just opened the door and strode in already babling
>And here are your traveling papers. it may be difficult to find a ship since the Harbor has been emptied for the Mantis delegation but I'm sure you can manage... some... thing?
>He stared, boogle eyed at Oka-san.
>I was unsure what school Oka-san attended, but the hidden technique, Frosty Eyed Stare of Death, that she was employing was truly formidable.
>Even the Karo shrank before it.
>I was glad I was not on the receiving end.
>Oka-san had taught her daughter a lesser version, Smile of Heavenly Disappointment.
>That was horrible enough I had sworn off drunken brawls to avoid seeing it again.
>Thank you Karo-san. But you know full well my daughters health issues. They will be staying here this winter.
>Buh, but my Lady! Your Lord Husband...
>And I wish to spend at least some time with my grandchildren.
>You know that the Crab clan has a strong connection to the Earth, yes? Perhaps one of Naomi's children will be suitible to become an Earth tensai.
>Karo blinked at that. Considered. Then nodded.
>As you wish my lady.
>I know Oka-san only said that to shut him up and get to leave, but the thought of Shoji actually taking an interest in one of my children sent a chill down my spine.
>Hey, Toshiro...
>Those two? No, I don't think so.
>It's too early to say for certain but I suspect they're far to energetic, a bit too much air in their nature.
>Oka-san sipped her tea.
>True, but you are not going to stop there are you, Naomi-chan?
>I blinked at the -chan.
>First she stood up, albeit indirectly, to Shoji on behalf of her daughter.
>Then she used an honorific to show endearment?
>Was she really trying to make amends for everything?
>I would need to ask Kitsuki-san later. It was said that it was impossible for even a scoripion to lie to a true master of Kitsuki's method.
>No mother, I do not believe we will be stoping at just two.
>Oka-san and Naomi shared a glance and smiled at one another.
>I looked up, certain something important had just gone over my head.
>We spent some time in conversation, Oka-san asking Naomi and myself about the Crab clan in earnest, and how our lives were.
>There was much to discuss, Oka-san had missed several years of her daughters life.
>I decided not to spoil the mood by bringing up the leters Naomi sent that had never been read.
>Kitsuki-san snuck himself into the conversation
>I hear that you are well versed in Hanakotoba, Isawa-sama, is this true?
>A daimyo's wife did outrank a Yoriki to a Jade Magistrate.
>I wondered if I was getting it wrong and I was supposed to address her as Oka-sama.
>Well, that didn't matter. Even if I was I wasn't quite ready to show her that much respect, yet.
>I am, is there something you would wish to discuss, Kitsuki-san?
>Oka-san, Naomi and Kistuki-san talked for a while about flowers.
>Monkey listened with rapt attention, fascinated by the depth of meaning in such simple things
>Mantis-san, Toshiro and I suffered in quite dignity.
>After a time Kitsuki-san woke us up by snapping his fan closed.
>You may tell her Naomi-sama.
>what, huh?
>Thank you Kitsuki-san.
>Oka-san blinked in confusion.
>Mother, there is something important I must tell you. It concerns the Bloodspeaker cult.
>I looked at Kitsuki-san, to double check.
>He simply nodded in assurance.
>How in the hell had a conversation about plants revealed her trustworthyness to Kitsuki-san?
>Toshiro sipped his tea.
>Kitsuki's method is quite formidable.
>I nodded.
>When Naomi was done filling her mother in on THEM, there was silence for a long time.
>Why did you tell me this, Naomi?
>Father should not have such difficulty with those bandits
>And now we have learned that they appeared before Father was to host the peace talks with the Mantis this winter?
>We cannot be certain who THEY count among their number, but THEY may try again.
>To what end, Naomi?
>Oka-san was so stunned by this revelation she was forgetting she was technically in public right now.
>Chaos aids them Mother. It allows them to make movements while remaining concealed.
>And they have attempted to place their own into positions of power by killing high ranking individuals in the past.
>You think they aim for your Father's life?
>Naomi shook her head.
>I cannot say for certain. If the talks fail then many lives could be lost in the chaos of a war.
>Oka-say nodded at that.
>Perhaps they are even intending to move on multiple fronts, then.
>Yes Mother, that is possible. Likely even.
>If your father dies, then Hohiro would inherit this castle. But he is far too busy with his dutties as master of Earth to rule it in reality.
>Karo-san would likely take over the full responsibility in Hohiro's name.
>I can think of nothing that would incriminate him now, but I will keep a close eye on Karo-san.
>So, the idea that the Master of Earth, her own son, might be a Maho-Tsukai was so abhorrent to her she failed to even consider it.
>Truth be told, I might be the only one in the room who thought it a possibility.
>I had brought the subject up only once, in the aftermath of our disgrace at Kyuden Hida, and the others had simply said there was no proof and left it at that.
>Well. In any event now was certainly not the time to raise the possibility again.
>Naomi's mother, having regained her composure as we talked, bid us good night.
>The others went to their own rooms.
>Naomi and I settled in to sleep.
>That night, I woke up.
>I checked Naomi, and seeing she was fine, quieted my breathing to listen for what had awoken me.
>A soft sob. Choked in fact. As though someone were trying not to make noise as they cried.
>I eased myself out from Naomi's arms and went to the door.
>the crying was definitely coming from the other side.
>I opened it swiftly.
>and scared little Ashitaka half to death.
>Oi. What the hell are you doing out here chibi-san?
>He simply stared up at me, mouth hanging open.
>I sighed.
>I supposed the sight of a half naked giant covered in scars will do that to someone.
>So I picked him up by the back of his kimono and brought him inside our room
>I plopped him down, and pulled on the rest of my kimono so I wouldn't look so scary.
>Then I sat down in front of him.
>Alright, what's going on?
>His face twisted, fresh tears welling up in his eyes.
>Father hates me now!
>I took a deep breath.
>And wondered if I was enough of a ninja to make it into Shoji's bedroom unseen.
>I doubted it.
>So instead I asked
>Got any idea why?
>Because I won't make a good earth tensai
>He hates me because I'll never be as good as Toshiro!
>I wondered if I could silence anyone who did see me before they could make a noise and hide the bodies long enough to make it into Shoji's room
>Probably not.
>But even for those who aren't tensai, Isawa trained shugenja are amazing, chibi.
>Every other shugenja school in the Empire has an element they are strong with, and an element they are weak with.
>Isawa Shugenja, unique in all the Empire, don't have that weakness.
>Shouldn't that be something to be proud of?
>Father says that dosen't matter, only Tensai will advance in a high rank in our clan.
>I had no idea if that was true or his own prejudice.
>But it was true that the leaders of the Pheonix clan were the Elemental Council, and only a Tensai could be appointed there.
>I frowned, thinking this through.
>Alright then. What do you want to do with your life?
>Ashitaka sniffled and rubbed his eyes.
>Make Father proud...
>But you already know you can't do that.
>his eyes teared up again.
>I cupped my hand over his mouth before he could start full on bawling.
>I hissed.
>You wanna wake your sister up?
>his eyes darted over to Naomi, still sleeping soundly.
>He shook his head
>I took my hand away from his mouth
Call me foolish, but I didn't quite get what things happened to Ishigaki's mind. Arrogance maybe? You portrayed him being so unknowing of it so well that I'm left in the dark.

Earth is the element of willpower. Being so tied to Earth, Ishigaki most likely wasn't effected too much by the curse. From what I could tell, he threw aside the more defensive aspect of his school and went full zerker in the battle with the pirates.

Toshiro was pretty much the same. He didn't go full crazy, but the whole "smacking Ishigaki with his tetsubo like a horse" was a sign his normally stoic personality was getting eroded. Slowly, but surely.
Ishigaki got much more violent. Normally, he would have realized the curse was to blame and pulled his blows a bit on those mantis sailors.

He was also ready to kill Monkey when they fought, on the island, but Naomi ended that before he could.

For that matter, he's not really that belligerent towards his friends. Good natured insults are one thing. But he was going farther than normal. Even with Mantis-san, since they'd recently bonded.

He even made mention of disciplining Naomi. He's got her as his True Love, he'd never normally do something like that.

Lastly, in the fight with Kenzan and his crew on the ship, everyone was full of blood lust. It's why he kept on with offense and got himself almost killed instead of covering up like thought.
I see, thanks for clarifying. Still seems a little... underwhelming compared to theirs, but oh well.
>Alright chibi, it's a little early to tell you this, and it's harsh too.
>But your father is the biggest asshole I've had the misfortune to meet.
>Ahistaka covered his mouth in shock.
>Your family has a tradition of becoming Earth Tensai.
>If you don't do that, and do it well, he'll never respect you.
>Think about how he treats Naomi.
>She sent letters to you guys. All of you. Damn near every week.
>His eyes got wider with every word.
>Young though he was, Ahitaka realized his father must have disposed of Naomi's letters without telling anyone, or at least ordered the karo to do so.
>I pulled him in for a hug.
>Poor kids world had just turned inside out and screamed at him
>I said softly
>What is it YOU want to do with your life.
>He sniffled in my arms.
>No one has ever asked me that before.
>It's fine if you don't have an answer right now, Ashitaka. Take your time and think it through.
>I will... Ishigaki.
>good boy.
>I got him a drink and took him back to his room.
>Judging by the number of gaurds stationed about, it was a good thing I didn't try to Ninja my way to Shoji's room after all.
>Oh well.
>I returned to our room and got back into bed.
>Thank you, Ishigaki-kun.
>Wha-? How long have you been awake?
>Long enough.
>She rolled over and kissed me.
>You did well.
>She snuggled in against me and we both fell asleep.
>As the days passed, the courtiers from various clans arrived.
>Aside from the expected delegation from the Mantis, there were Crane, Dragon and Scorpion courtiers present.
>As well as token groups from the Crab, Lion and Unicorn. Mostly here to keep an eye on things and report the outcome Kitsuki-san said.
>The Dragon were neighbors to the Phoenix, and often needed more rice then they could grow in a year.
>The Crane and Scorpion just liked to meddle in everyone's affairs.
>The Crane lied about their motivations, saying the were only interested in maintaining peace in the Empire.
>I was always amused that the clan that all wore masks were so open and honest about their intentions.
>Some people would not trust a Scorpion farther than they could throw them.
>I could probably set a new record at Scorpion tossing though, so I didn't even trust them that far.
>But at least they had the decency to tell you not to trust them.
>I was contemplating what set of circumstances would need to come to pass that I could try to set that new record without the usual scorpion reprisal when Kitsuki-san came up to me
>Ishigaki-san! I have would like for you to meet my friend! He has been a great help in many of our investigations, though I have only sought his assitance via letter until now!
>I was greatly surprised to see him here, but I am glad I can finally introduce you.
>Hida Ishigaki, this is Bayushi Amano
>It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Hida Ishigaki-sama.
>I have heard much of you from my friend.
>yeah, likewise I'm sure.
>I stared at Kistuki-san.
>And wondered what it was that had caused him to switch brains with Monkey.
Strength and heroism
Ishigaki of Crab Clan
Lovely Naomi
It's from his point of view. Remember how he kept going on about how the curse made everyone think that *they* were the only sane ones?
It's a Scorpion? It's a Scorpion.
>Bayushi Amano was tall. Absurdly so.
>We could look one another in the eyes without adjusting our heads.
>Juding by the hands that poked out from his sleves and his slender face, he was very thin.
>But I could not be certain, because he wore a very loose kimono.
>It hung off him almost comically when he stood still, but it billowed quite impressively when he walked.
>His mask was a piece of sheer silk, wrapped around his eyes like the bandage a blind man would wear.
>So even though I could look him in the eyes, I could not make them out.
>He smiled pleasantly at my less then formal returned greeting.
>I suddenly felt a need to check every riceball in the castle for ninjas.
>Oh, there is Toshiro-san! Excuse us, please, Ishigaki-san.
>I nodded, and they went off to pester Toshiro.
>Seriously, what the hell was Kitsuki-san thinking?
>Great help?
>OUR investigations?!
>How much did that bastard Amano know?
>How much did the Scorpion Clan know?!
>Did they know about the island?
>I considered how many times it had felt like murder was the only solution in this damned castle, and wondered if it was cursed.
>My frantically racing thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of the Mantis delegation.
>It was lead by a woman in perhaps the most opulent Kimono I had ever seen.
>The ornamentation in her hair, the lightly painted face.
>She must have spent hours getting ready.
>And I was fairly certain she was wearing more than my yearly stipend on just one arm.
>And yet she failed to draw every eye in the room.
>Rather it was one of her attendants that did so.
>The woman everyone was actually staring at was a shugenja, judging by the scroll satchel.
>Her kimono was far more plain.
>But it would not do to call it 'modest'
>It slipped off her shoulders, held aloft by some trick I could not fathom.
>This of course, exposed a generous expanse of cleavage.
>Cleavage that belonged to breasts that stopped just shy of being obscenely large.
Mantis delegate
Attendant overshadows
My my, what a bust...
>A necklace of black pearls with a few jade matagama encircled her neck.
>A massive pearl hung on the center of the necklace rested comfortably in her cleavage
>as if you needed any more of a reason to look
>The bottom half of her kimono had the hips cut away showing bare flesh.
>Not uncommon, but you WERE supposed to have a top that would be long enough to cover that up.
>Her obi cinched tight around her slender waist, causing her barely there Kimono to cling tightly to her body, revealing a dramatic hourglass figure.
>I wondered if she was really shaped like that, or if she was just able to not breath for extended periods of time.
>Light brown hair swept behind her ears and fell down to her shoulders
>And blue eyes, like those of some Doji completed the look.
>I had heard rumors of mantis who dressed in such scandalous fashions, all the empire had of course.
>I had even seen a few when we were on the Isles of Spice and Silk.
>But this one took it to extremes I had not thought possible.
>I doubted she was even in mourning, and suspected she just liked having short hair.
>Only after I began to recover from my shock did I realize she was no taller than Naomi.
>Oh, right. Naomi.
>I realized I had been staring far too hard
>me and every man in the room.
>and every woman was hiding behind their fans.
>Naomi came over to me
>held up her fan and whispered to me
>Be on gaurd around her, Ishigaki-kun. She is doing that on purpose.
>Naomi looked at me as one might look at a child reaching into a fire because they do not know it will burn them.
>She is using her appearance as a weapon to distract and confuse. She is dangerous.
>Very dangerous.
>I- I see.
>I must go warn the others.
>Okay then.
>I thought about what Naomi had said.
>She was probably right. I couldn't remember the last time I taken such thorough notice of a woman.
Alright, now that the stage has been set, I'm going to knock off here for the evening. See you all tomorrow.
Mantis attendant
Mysterious, beautiful...
A wonderful bust.
A wonderful tale...
Will crab-senpai notice me...?
No, probably not.
A boring old crab
Embarrassed, avoids notice
kouhai prays. One day
Could it truly be?
Great Hida Ishigaki?
Exemplar of Crab?
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Yeah, I lurk a bit while I burn a few before crashing, because I'm an egotistical fuck that likes to read the comments itt.
And that was the very first time I've been called Senpai. Captcha: Select all images with mountains. Okay then
My honorable
Grand Bushi of the Crab Clan
Your story is loved.
Seriously, don't do it. Those bitches will fuck you up.
A poetic bump
Before sweet slumber takes me
Night, excellent Crab.
>His face twisted, fresh tears welling up in his eyes.
>Father hates me now!

>Because I won't make a good earth tensai

What are the odds?
This is like a nice game of Exalted. Only three times as awesome!
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Librarianon here. I got bored editing and made this.

A rules question and bump, but in L5R character creation, can you only go to your families schools or any school in your clan, so can hida only become bushi or can they become shugenja as well?
You can attend any school of your clan for free, so you could have things like a Matsu who attended the Ikoma school or a Hida who attended the Kuni shugenja school.
If you want to attend a school outside your clan you need to buy the different school advantage, so the Shiba who wants to attend the Kakita dueling acadamy in order to specialize as a stand in for Isawa shugenja in duels has to pay some extra points for that.
God forbid you want to be a Bayushi void shugenja. Only the Isawa School teaches void spells so you'd need BOTH Ishiken-do and different school at that point.
Third Biggest name after his wife and his best friend. Clearly the jinx is real to be invoked so much.
Naomi just around even know.
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Editing has made progress. First pass for spelling errors and stuff is about halfway. At the bog hag chapter.

Ishigaki-senpai, why do you keep misspelling Mantis as mantits? It's making me giggle when I'm trying to work.
Yeah he is a Merchant pretending to be Bushi, like all Mantis. As such, hes probably a bit too tubby.
Plus I thought it was in character. I bet you it's declined tremendously since they got drunk and beat up cranes together.
Yeah a good amount of healthy crab-style exercise definitely burned off some of the chub.
A poet waking
He espies the loved story
And he smiles warmly
Question: is it a voice or a text game?
It was a RL game.
So, funny little detail. Ishigaki-kun didn't start coming to me for the campaign notes until well after he had already begin posting. So he had forgotten a tiny detail regarding Mantis-san: he was actually a Tsuruchi trained by the Yoritomo.

It's a minor retcon to make admittedly, he just married into his wife's family in this story.
Technically, any shugenja with Ishiken-do can get Void spells starting at rank 2.
Fluffwise, this only really happens in the very latest eras, since that's when the non-Isawa schools start to actually experiment with their own Void programs, rather than just handing all voidies off to the Isawa.
>Everyone broke up as the mingling and introductions commenced
>As usual I just tried to stay out of everyone's way
>However some found reason to try and speak to me anyway
>Like the old Crab.
>he didn't bother with finding someone to introduce us
>I am Hida Katusie, and you?
>He only had one arm.
>At the age of forty a Samurai is expected to retire. They shave their heads and enter into a monastery to spend the rest of their live seeking enlightenment by contemplating their navels.
>This idea is abhorrent to many Crab.
>It's not that Monks don't serve a purpose; they do.
>It has more to do with the fact that a samurai has a job to do, and we really hate shirkers.
>So when a Crab becomes to old and infrim to serve actively we find other ways for them to serve the clan.
>Sensei is one such position.
>There is nothing quite like being instructed by a one eyed, one armed, one legged man to impress upon young bushi just how dangerous their duty can be, and how important it is to take their training seriously.
>Military advisor was another.
>No matter how thick witted a person may be, a lifetime of battle will make them skilled strategists, if only because they are encountering situations similar to ones they faced in the past.
>I was living proof of the truth of that.
>Last but not least was courtier.
>A blind Hiruma that wears a mask because some Oni made off with his face may not be as charismatic or as eloquent as one trained from the outset to be a courtier.
>But that hardly matters.
>His gruesome and highly visible injuries will serve as a constant reminder of how much the Crab Clan is owed.
>I'm Hida Ishigaki
>You are not part of my entourage, and I was not told to expect other Crabs to be here.
>I pointed out where Naomi was taking with Mantis-san
>Hida Naomi. Jade Magistrates, and my wife.
>She's a water tensai.
>And Isawa Shoji's daughter.
>He stroked his chin.
>Come on.
>I took him over to where Toshiro was
>Kuni Toshiro, Hida Katusie.
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>A crab get-together.
Honorable Crab
Returns to tell the story
To much rejoicing.
A Hungry Watcher
Sadly leaves to go to eat
But will read later
Another poet?
How wonderful to meet you
If only online.
>They nodded to one another.
>Toshiro had not taken up any of the standard Crab Clan Retirement Packages of course, despite having a clubbed foot.
>This was because he was a Shugenja.
>No one was about to suggest someone who could make enemies spontaneously combust, hurl jade boulders, and provide emergency first aid with the help of the Kami might be unnable to do their duty because they couldn't walk very fast.
>He's also a Jade Magistrate.
>I see. What brings you all the way out here, may I ask?
>Heard about the Ogres and bandits?
>Yes, I did.
>Well, there you go.
>hey, Katusie-sama
>I decided I'd better be up front, lest he form some plan that ended up being implausible.
>I looked around, to make sure no one was looking.
>Katusie-sama sighed and handed me his fan.
>I covered my mouth with it as I whispered to him.
>Shoji is an ass. He does not like his daughter, so we don't actually have an in in that regard, got it.
>He nodded.
>To my relief he didn't push for any more information.
>He took back his fan
>Still, you are much more familier with our host and his family than I am. May I count on you for advice?
>I nodded.
>I can do that much, at least.
>Very good. Thank you both for your time.
>I shared a glance with Toshiro.
>This was the first time I'd been considered an asset in Court.
>Up unitl now I settled for not being a detriment.
>Think I need to get a fan?
>Toshiro pursed his lips, looking at me apraisingly.
>Then he clapped his hand over his mouth to keep from bursting out in laughter.
>Yeah, I thought so too.
>I looked around trying to see what the others were up to.
>Monkey was speaking too loudly with the Crane, trying to show off his newly acquired knowledge on the meaning of flowers
>She smiled politely at him as he regurgitated words he had only heard once at her, and occasionally flicked 'HELP ME' glances at her Yojimbo
>Who returned discreet 'what do you want me to do about it?' shrugs whenever she did so
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>one-armed Crab courtier
>Kitsuki-san had broken off from Amano to speak with the Dragon courtiers.
>I was a bit surprised to see a bald man covered in vibrant tattoos in the group.
>If I was right that was a tattooed monk
>He wore a sleeveless Kimono, and normal pants instead of hakama.
>every inch of skin I could see from the neck down was covered in ink, so I could not be certain what was mystical and what was mundane.
>Mantis-san was also with his clan
>Oh, shit.
>Toshiro and I didn't have to think very hard about helping our clan.
>And I supsected neither did Kitsuki-san.
>The Dragon likely wanted peace, since a war and Mantis raids would force the Phoenix to stockpile more food than usual.
>Rice paddies and mountains are generally incompatible, and the Dragon got a decent amount of rice from the Phoenix, being neighbors and all.
>But Mantis-san was in an awkward position.
>His Clan would fully expect him to assist in extorting the Phoenix for as much as possible.
>I waited until Kitsuki-san finished his conversation, then approached him.
>I nodded toward the Mantis delegation
>You think we might end up working at cross purposes here?
>It's possible, Ishigaki-san.
>He shrugged.
>If it happens it happens. I won't hold it against him.
>you sure? Doesn't your clan need that rice?
>The Phoenix are not the only only Clan to produce a surplus of rice.
>Okay, if you're sure.
>There was no opportunity to speak with Mantis-san the rest of the day. He was always with someone in his Clan.
>So I brought it up that evening as we gathered together.
>He folded his arms and made a face like he had just bitten into a lemon.
>Yeah, they're pressing me hard for everything I know about Shoji.
>And I mean everything.
>I'm sorry, Naomi-sama
>It is alright, Mantis-san.
>I cannot bear you any ill will for working to serve your clan, nor can I blame you for the actions taken by your Clan's leaders.
I return from food
Full, and finding a greeting
So thanks to you
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These guys are right; I did do that on purpose.
At least the first few times. Then I stopped as Ishigaki was forced to acknowledge Mantis' combat prowess a little bit. And also because the running joke had run it's course. Then I brought it back a few times when it felt right.

But I honestly can't be sure now if I've done it accidentally some times as well.

That's the biggest problem to writing a story in this fashion. Mistakes sometimes get mistaken for intentional characterization, and vice versa

And my fingers are just a pack of retards at times. I shall discipline them sternly
>Of course Naomi would be that way.
>But I was sure there were many Phoenix who would not be so understanding.
>I couldn't discount the possibility of guilt by association blowing back on the rest of us.
>In the morning Kitsuki-san pulled me aside, along with Toshiro
>I have a suggestion for you both. One that should help to dispell some of your worries from the other night, Ishigaki-san
>Oh great, He really had mastered Kituski's Method.
>Now I had another mind reader to deal with.
>I would ask that you attempt to persuade Hida Katsuie-sama to push the Mantis clan to settle for less then they hope to gain.
>I failed to see how any of this was really Crab business.
>Toshiro spoke up.
>He's got a point, Ishigaki.
>If the Phoenix can't afford to give as much rice to the Dragon as normal, the Dragon will have to turn to other Clans.
>If the other Clans find their surplus in high demand, they'll be able to ask for more in return.
>Ah, And that's bad for the Crab. Shit.
>It made sense to me now, why Courtiers insisted that Court was more dangerous than any battlefield.
>I had never considered that a war on the other side of the Empire could impact my Clan negatively.
>For one, the Emprie was just too big a thing.
>For another, I was a Crab and a warrior.
>I didn't bother myself with matters of court anymore than the average Rokugani bothered themselves with matters of Oni.
>Certainly, some things had rubbed off due to long exposure to them.
>And I did seek to know my own clans strengths and weaknesses
>But still, I was a far cry from a courtier.
>Toshiro nodded to Kitsuki-san.
>good idea. We'll give it a shot.
>So we wet out to find Katusie-sama
>He was entertaining some Lion and Unicorn courtiers.
>Not by telling war stories, but by playing a konto.
>And well, at that.
>The frantic speed with which his single hand danced across the strings at odds with the soothing tones he produced.
>I couldn't help but take a seat myself and be impressed.
Indeed my honorable friend
Accepting your thanks
Was it delicious?
It was normal food
Italian wheat dough
Made long strands, boiled
goddamnit Italian uses up an annoying amount of consonants
>When he finished he spoke up
>Thank you for listening to my humble performance.
>Now I must excuse myself, it would seem some of my kin wish to speak with me.
>I started first.
>So, we were thinking it might benefit the Clan if we tried to get the Mantis to settle for as little as possible.
>Yes, I had considered that as well.
>Do you have some idea how I might go about that though?
>I did not.
>Toshiro though, had given it some thought.
>He spoke to Katsuie-sama at length about Shoji's many faults and flaws.
>Also his strengths.
>He even told Katusie-sama the truth of the battle with the Ogres and bandits.
>Throughout it all Katsuie-sama remained silent, stroking his beard thoughtfully
>So, if I am understanding you corectly Toshiro-san, the Phoenix could not have picked a worse host for these peace talks if they tried?
>That's about it, yeah.
>I finally caught on to Toshiro's game.
>A little late but still...
>So yeah, any of the Clans who want peace could be persuaded to join in more forcefully once they know Shoji is likely to screw it up somehow.
>Yes. It will take time to set things in motion however.
>I must be certain peace is their objective before speaking of such things to others.
>In the meantime, I can reach out to my counterpart in the Dragon clan, to see if we can combine our efforts.
>Thank you both for bringing this to my attention.
>He excused himself.
>I wondered at the odd turns my life had taken.
>Here I was, a Crab bushi.
>A simple Yojimo in service to a Jade Magistrate.
>Brush in hand, the best I could hope for was that my poem would not offend everyone that read it.
>And yet I was talking part in political events that could effect the entire Empire.
>Toshiro nudged me.
>Shoji was planing some to have competitions all throughout the winter court as entertainment for the guests.
>And first up, was a sumai tournament.
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Well great, now I'M hungry.
Back latter.
Was the Italian bread
Filling, honorable friend?
I hope it fuelled.
Indeed it did, yes
Though citrus fruit, orange hue
was also consumed
Orange? Shameful
The most dishonorable
Of fruits are Oranges.
Was not an orange
But a Chinese Bureaucrat
I had, so no shame
Onto the last page
Stonewall stories have fallen.
Not on my watch though.
No Haiku, Shame Shame!
We use thought and care to bump
5,7,5 learn soon.
The tournament arc
a classic staple of game
I am interested
Haiku is easy
All you do is stop at the
Seventeenth syll
I'm* fuck
Hey anon listen
Seven is two syllables
Concentrate next time
Oh? I have started
Something wonderful, it seems
From my humble work.
Shit cuck fuck a duck
Slap my bitch up, eat my poo
Suck my vomit Maggy.
>Toshiro arched an eyebrow at me
>Then Naomi came up
>You are going to enter, are you not Ishigaki-kun?
>A wild Monkey appears
>Yeah! You should do it!
>Do I look like a sumai to you Monkey?!
>No, but you're real good at knocking people over, and you've got good balance!
>Mantis-san smirked at me.
>I'm going to.
>I gave in.
>Of all people, it was Naomi who seemed most pleased.
>I got registered, changed into a mawashi and took my place in the lineup of challengers
>This competition was mostly a chance for the Yojimbo of the various courtiers to strut their stuff
>Not a single profesional Sumai to be seen.
>a delicate and willowy Crane
>The tattoed Dragon
>Mantis-san. Stocky and thick.
>an Akodo, with a husky frame
>The Shosuro had not an ounce of fat on him anywhere
>A Shinjo, surprisingly short.
>and the Shiba, average in every way you could think of.
>Then I came out.
>Fans fluttered as v shaped slab of muscle and scar tissue took his place in the line up.
>I had been right about the Dragon, he was a giant wall of color from the neck down
>it was so chaotic I saw a new shape every time I looked
>The first match would be the Dragon, up against the Lion
>The Dragon bowed and itroduced himself as Togashi Asuma
>Do not worry, I swear I will not draw upon my tattoos in this competition. There are plenty shugenja who can stand as witness.
>I wish for this to be a true match of athletic ability
>The Akodo bowed in return
>I shall accept you honest desire, and crush you with all I have. To do any less would be an insult to you and our host
>Asuma nodded.
>Well said
>First came the stare downs
>Then the collision
>The two slammed into each other, palms striking chests.
>Neither gave ground at first
>Then the Dragon steped in, moving his rear leg just after taking a blow from the Akodo
>Asuma uncoiled his hips to add follow through to his next shove
>The Lion could not resist it and tumbled back out of the ring.
How uncouth, anon
Now what would Naomi say?
Such filth, in Haiku.

And the tournament begins
Will Ishigaki
Win it all, or fail?

Six syllables in the last line. Abject failure.
What the fuck, TG? What's with all the haikus, now? Have we become this meta?
Oh? What do you mean?
Have you seen many haikus
on beloved /tg/?
I have tried, and failed
I will commit sudoku
For meta failku
I see no haiku
On this thread or another
Only some sarcasm

>>52675183 was supposed to be a stealth haiku, and I fucked it up three times, so I'm admitting my shamefrul dispray
>Next we would have a bug battle
>Mantis on Scorpion action.
>Well, this should be
>Have I ever mentioned that Mantis-san is terribly strong?
>The Shiba and the Crane were the next to square off.
>They stared each other down steadily.
>Then rose up and grappled with one another.
>I could see them shifting their weight to in response to each others movements.
>Their movements and shifts were small, subtle. Each trying to unbalance the other.
>The Shiba sunk his stance, then let go of the Crane's mawashi and pushed up under his armpits, trying to upset the Crane's balance
>I the Crane, however, flowed with the Shiba's force, and pulled tossing the Shiba over his hip and to the mat
>That looked a bit like something out of Mizu-do
>There are three main martial arts in Rokugan.
>Kaze-do, Mizu-do and Kobo Ichi Kai
>Kaze-do was the first style to be created, created by a monk named Togashi Kaze and first taught to peasants.
>It had since found it's way into the dojo's of the saumrai.
>It was a style that strove to emulate the wind, so the practitioner moved about a lot.
>It made use of acrobatic kicks and rapid strikes to wear down, exhaust and knock over ones foes
>Mizu-do is the style the Crane practice extensively
>In Mizu-do the practioner seeks to be like water, fluid and formless
>When attacked with force, the Mizu-do practitioner will seek to redirect and control that force, often by pulling his opponent off balance and into the ground.
>Kobo Ichi Kai is the last style. Developed by the Crab, and rarely seen outside of our Clan.
>It is not a way, but a school.
>It was not born from an enlightened man meditating on nature.
>But from samurai brawling in teahouses and docks and back alleyways.
>From a Kuni learning just how one human body can damage another by treating the injured and preforming autopsies on the dead
>The other martial arts teach you how to defend yourself when you have no weapon.
>Kobo Ichi Kai teaches you how to kill
>Which left me facing off with the Chibicorn.
>A Hida and a Shinjo squaring off in a tournament.
>It wasn't the first round, but the parallels were obvious.
>When the Kami dueled to see which among them would become the Emperor, Hida had faced Shinjo in the first match.
>Hida lost.
>Now I stood before my opponent, and to look at us I outclassed him in every way that mattered in a sumai match.
>We bowed and took our stances
>The stare down.
>We attacked one another spirit
>I narrowed my eyes, flared my nostrils, and stared at the point just between his eyes
>He countered with a self assured smirk that I could see in my peripheral vision
>It was a fine move, both defense and counter in one
>Showing he was not intimated in the least, he reminded both of us the weight of history favored him in this contest.
>We sprang
>he came up just a hairs breadth slower
>Crossing his arms in front of his chest he slammed up into me
>The momentum forced me fully upright
>I took a half step back
>And windmilled my arms
>He struck me again driving his palm into me with all his might
>But it was not so easy to topple a Crab
>My half step had been a brace
>The windmilling a lie.
>Before he could realize what had happened I grabbed his Mawashi, spun my hips and threw him bodily into the air and out of the ring.
>Every one of the seven founding Great Clans has a story of their Kami meeting Shinsei
>Six of those kami gained wisdom from the little teacher.
>When Hida lost his match to Shinjo he stormed off to sulk alone
>While he was brooding a little man with a crow perched on his shoulder came up to him
>Why are you so upset, First Crab?
>I am upset because I am weak, and my strength could not save me from my weakness.
>The little man smiled
>But now you know your own weakness.
>And by knowing it, you transform it into strength.
>A true son of Hida is not some mindless brute who charges headlong and recklessly into battle
>Nor is he a fool who thinks his own biceps are all he needs to win.
>He knows exactly what he is capable of, and also what he is NOT capable of
>He knows how to save his strength for just the right moment, and secure victory before his enemy knows he has been defeated.
>If a Hida deliberately places himself at a disadvantage, it is only because someone must in that position, and he is best suited to survive it.
>Unless of course, he is just a fool.
>We do have plenty of those in our clan as well, I'm sad to say.
>There was a break between the rounds as Shugenja came in to treat the competitors and ensure they would be fresh and ready for their next bout.
>Naomi saw to me personally.
>That was masterfull Ishigaki-kun!
>Monkey pipped up
>I thought he had when he took you off gaurd at the start there
>Kitsuki-san bopped Monkey lightly on the head.
>It was a ploy, Monkey. Ishigaki-san Tricked the Shinjo into commiting when he should not.
>Whoa, really?
>I nodded.
>Mantis-san spoke up from where he was being treated.
>What about me?
>I smilled over at him
>You'd better win. I wanted to set the Scorpion tossing record.
>I will win.
>we grinned at one another, eager at the chance to test our strength against the other.
>After the break Mantis-san and Togashi Asuma entered the ring
>They bowed to one another.
>You truly are a raging storm and pounding wave, Mantis-san.
>I look forward to testing myself against a force of nature wearing the flesh of a mortal
>Mantis-san stretched and flexed popping joints loudly
>Let's have a good match, Dragon-san
>They took their stances
>I saw Mantis-san's eyelid twitch
>Then the Dragon was upon him, slap after slap driving Mantis-san back to the edge of the ring
>Mantis-san brought his arms up under Asuma's and broke the Dragons rhythm
>Continuing the motion, Mantsi-san slamed both palms into Asuma's chest driving him back towards the center
>They both resettled their stances and came at each other again meeting slightly inside Mantis-sans side of the ring
>again the air filled with sharp sound of flesh being struck and Mantis-sans chest was soon bright red
>whatever damage was being done to Asuma was concealed under all of his tattoos
>Then I heard a sharper crack and the referee steeped in between the two
>He spoke to Asuma briefly, who nodded
>Then declared Mantis-san the winner.
>Contestant Asuma has sustained an injury and is no longer able to continue the match!
>So Mantis-san had struck with enough force to crack a rib, maybe even break it outright
>A shugenja hurried in to tend to Asuma
>The Dragon waved off the shugenja to bow to Mantis-san first though
>I thank you for this lesson, Mantis-san. I will remember not to try to overpower the waves in the future.
>Mantis-san returned the bow
>With a little more training you probably could Dragon-san.
>you flatter me
>You almost had me
>Togashi Asuma bowed again and allowd the shugenja to take him from the ring and treat his wounds
>I entered the ring and faced off with the Crane
>Instead of going for the Imma Killya Stare I decided to try out the confident smirk the Chibicorn had shown me
>The Crane blinked
>It worked
>We came up and I shoved a palm at him
>He slipped beneath my arm and grabbed my Mawashi, trying to pull me over his hip
>Just like he did with the Shiba
>I was ready for him to do something like that
>I shifted my weight leaning back
>Then I spun around
>It wasn't a proper sumai move, I don't think, but this was hardly a professional tournament
>He still had a firm grip on my Mawashi, so when I spun it yanked him off balance
>He stumbled past me, leaning over heavily
>I let him stand up straight and turn around
>But before he could fully reset his stance I slammed my chest against him
>And sent him tumbling to the mat
>Another break before the finals
>Naomi and Toshiro came to tend to me
>The others went over to Mantis-san
>Naomi rubbed a salve on her hands and began rubbing it into my arms and shoulders
>It was cool.
>I wondered why she was doing that though, when she could do the same with a quick spell.
>Is it just me or is she touching me more than necessary?
>I looked at Toshiro, who flicked his gaze out towards the spectators
>All of the men were leaning over in conversation with one antoher. I saw some Koku change hands in a few places.
>The ladies of the court were a sea of fluttering fans, no doubt bored by the barbarity...
>The youngest ones, those likely still unmarried were all flushed and fidgeting.
>It wasn't really that hot in the room.
>Toshiro shook his head and chuckled that I hadn't noticed until now
>The break ended and Mantis-san and I entered the ring
>We bowed without words
>There was no need to speak
>We took our stances
>Neither of us bothered to try to assault the others spirit.
>We wanted this contest to be of one thing, and one thing only
>We came up and our chests slammed togother
>We gripped each others' mawashi
>And we strained with all our might
>One of us was going to lift and throw the other
>That was the only way this would end
>We strained, pushing our bodies against one another and shifting our wieght, each subtly robbing the other of the leverage they needed to win
>I suppose, to someone who could not see the subtle battle taking place, it would look very boring
>But I was dimly aware that there were many courtiers leaning forward with great intesinty
>Oi, don't get distracted now!
>I'm not.
>I sank a little lower, then rose up onto the balls of my feet
>Mantis-san counterd by leaning forward, forcing my heels to slam back to the ground
>I pivoted my hips, letting my left side continue backward
>he leaned back
>I slammed my chest into his
>he tried to counter by matching my force, but his reaction was just slightly delayed.
>I felt his body give under my assault,
>I knew his toes had come up off the mat
>Now or never
>I lifted straining every muscle in my back and shoulders
>He sank his weight low, Pushed against my mawashi to counter my lift
>But it was too late
>With every tendon taut and every muscle on clear display I gave one mighty heave and threw Mantis-san to the ground
>My vision swam and I had to place my hands on my knees to avoid falling myself
>I sucked in huge lung fulls of air
>Manits-san was looking up at me, surpised
>So was I, truth be told
>I'll take the fact that you're breathing that hard as a compliment
>He grinned as he stood
>I nodded emphatically
>Good... match
>I panted at him
>There was polite aplause as I was named the Champion
>We all headed for the baths to get cleaned up after our exercise
>Asuma congratulated us both on our bout
>That was amazing. I am blessed to have had the opotrunity to witness such a contest
>I looked over at the Togashi
>Mind if I ask you which ones are magical and which ones are art?
>Not at all
>He showed me.
>So, safe to say we would have had no chance had you used those?
>If I had used my tattoos, it would only have been fair to allow you to use your tetsubo and armor.
>The Power in my tattoos is a gift, it is not my own.
>I strive to master them, and use them to their full potential, but they are no more a part of my own self than you armor is your own flesh.
>Huh. Like how shugenja don't really work magic themselves, but ask the Kami for their favor?
>He smilled at that.
>In a way, yes.
>I looked over to Mantis-san
>I just want to make sure, you weren't faking that panting were you?
>By Hida no!
>It really was that hard for me to win
>He nodded.
>Okay then.
>We'll have to have a rematch sometime
>If it was really that close.
>yeah, we will.
>But first, I need something to eat. I'm starving after all that excretion.
I think you mispelled the last word there.

Did Naomi cheat? She wouldn't, would she?
>I'm starving after all that excretion.
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No, Naomi didn't cheat. She was just marking her territory in front of all the aroused women in the audience
Are you *sure?*
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Well, Ishigaki is. I'm just his ink brush so maybe she did and he didn't notice. BTW back from food break, resuming greentext. If I can shake off that fucking typo, anyway.
>We went went to get some dinner, and I found myself the center of attention
>Time to initiate polite small talk
>Much of the talk revolved around my scars and training methods
>Oh that one? Ogre with a tetsubo
>We train in full armor night and day at Sunda Mizu.
>Goblin. Had a few of them climbing on my back and stabling me that time
>Running mostly. With a log. Up and down the steps up to the top of the wall.
>Oni. It's arms folded like a preying mantis, and it had sharp bones that were as good as blades coming out. Almost killed me, in fact.
>That last one was the Oni that gave me the scar on my face.
>It brought back some painful memories
>So I went on the attack.
>I decided to go for a two pronged assault, one that would drive back the sadness of my lost family and shift the topic from me
>So, do you have any children yet? I've got two myself
>Oh my.
>it was the Mantis woman with the cleavage
>I would love to have children one day, but I'm not married yet sadly.
>Ears pricked up all around the table
>My mother was a Doji, so I'm certain she knows someone who will be able to arrange and excellent marriage for me one day though.
>That explained the blue eyes then
>How about you Hida-san? How did you meet your wife?
>We were assigned to work together, and our feelings blossomed over time
>I smiled over at Naomi
>Eh? Is she your wife?
>Yeah. Thats Hida Naomi
>The Mantis looked back and forth between me and Naomi.
>She wasn't the only one.
>I was large, scarred and ugly
>She was small, frail and lovely
>We were, physically at least, opposites in every way.
>The Mantis remembered her manners then and itroduced herself to Naomi
>I am Moshi Aoi, it's a pleasure to meet you.
>After dinner Naomi went to take a bath
>When she came back she was quite red
>What happend, Hana-chan?
>Th-that Mantis... Moshit Aoi?
>She's a... she's a...
>She's a PERVERT!
>She wanted details Ishigaki-kun!
>Copious details!
>She used those exact words!

In this episode of Crab-San's Adventures, Mantis-San shits all over a wrestling tournament.

It's more literal than you think!
First, crab-anon, your story is fantastic, and has made me really interested in L5R.
Thanks for a lot of entertainment.

Sorry to distract from a really awesome storytime, but could anyone recommend a decent "starting point" for someone looking to get a bunch of L5R lore? Preferably a book or even several, going to be without internet for a few days.
>What is it with my wife getting asked about her love life in the baths?
>What the hell do women do in there anyway?
>I hugged Naomi close and stroked her hair
>I suppose Naomi falling in love and marrying her lover was an unusual thing in Rokugan, but still...
>At first it was innocent enough, simple things like when I realized I loved you, how you confessed to me...
>but then she asked about the bedroom!
>I could see why Naomi was so red.
>We had been married for years, and had two children.
>Yet she still blushed every time we made love
>Even when she was initiating it.
>It was adorable.
>I loved that sweet innocence of hers.
>a loud thumpdraging let us know to break our hug before our comrades came in
>save Mantis-san
>Toshiro produced a small bottle of sake and set it to warming
>Kistuki-san started up
>Kitsuki Takumi-sama was pleased with Hida Katusie's proposal of cooperation.
>Good, that's good news then.
>He nodded.
>Monkey spoke up
>Hey, where's Manits-san? Shouldn't we wait for him.
>No, Monkey we should not.
>Anything he hears would go straight into the ears of the Mantis delegate
>He knows that, which is why he is not joining us.
>Monkey looked down.
>I don't like this.
>I clapped Monkey on the shoulder
>None of us do, but we're not about to ask him to work against his own clan.
>Monkey nodded.
>Kistuki-san rusumed
>Amano-san assures me that we can count on the aid of the Scorpion as well.
>I had to ask
>What's the price?
>I'm sorry?
>The price, Kitsuki-san?
>We're talking about a Scorpion here, they don't do anything that isn't beneficial in some way to their own schemes
>I fail to see how that's any different from any other Clan.
>It's different because you're friends with him. You may not be as cautious as you should.
>I don't think I like that implication, Ishigaki-san.
>I met Toshiro's gaze, shook my head
>I would shoulder the burden of being the asshole alone on this one.
Way of [Clan] first ed books have great fluff for brining indivdual clans to life

Bearers of Jade and Book of the Shadowlands (First and Second ed respectively) form a solid core for fluff on the (non-spider clan) forces of Jigoku Book of the shadowlands also has the rules for naming an oni, which have not been reprinted afaik

More recently, the 4th ed elemental books and sword and fan provide a wonderfull amount of fluff and can help understand how characters see the world.
>he's got 5 magic tattoos
Jesus that is one hardcore Togashi
Thanks anon! I'll check them out. Hopefully I can find them before I pass out.
>Isn't that presicely why Mantis-san is not here in this room with us?
>Because even though he's our friend we know we would be working at cross purposes?
>Kitsuki-san sat up rigidly straight.
>He slowly put down his cup of sake
>He looked me right in the eyes
>I have known Amano-san since we were children, Ishigaki-san.
>If he could not help me, he would say so.
>I know all his mannerisms; he cannot lie to me and knows it.
>And he would not tarnish our friendship by trying to lie via omission to me
>I stared back
>You are absolutely certain of this?
>Okay then.
>I refiled Kitsuki-san's cup myself
>Thank you, Ishigaki-san
>You're welcome
>Are you two done fighting now?
>Yes Monkey we are done fighting.
>Kitsuki-san sighed then
>Unfortunately, I have some bad news.
>I had occasion to speak with the Crane during the tournament, and I am certain they intend to sabotage the peace talks.
>Really, the Crane?
>Yes. I don't know quite how they intend to do so.
>I am certain they will pretend they working towards peace.
>But they wish to inflate the value of their own surplus rice.
>So far Dragon, Crab and Scorpion were working together for peace between the Mantis and Phoenix
>The Crane stood opposed, in secret.
>The Crab and Unicorn often had good relations.
>But the Unicorn and Crane had better ones.
>It was the Crane Clan Champion that first recognized the Unicorn as the returning Clan of the Ki-Rin.
>The Lion hated the Crane as much as the Crab did.
>But the Lion also hated the Scorpion.
>There was also some bad blood between the Lion and Phoenix.
>I could not judge if the Lion or Unicorn would choose to enter this battle or merely observe.
>Nor could I be certain of the outcome.
>If the Crane and Scorpion stood opposed to one another in the court, all hell could break loose.
Tomorrow was the painting contest. What would happen then, I wondered?
>In a manner of speaking, any way.
Go home keyboard, your drunk.
With that I'm going to call it a night. Get some compressed air and clean this fucking thing out.
Grumble grumble
>she wants details
>new to L5R
>read about the clans
>literally every clan has a "duelist/combat" role that is somehow revered as the best amongst ALL the clans

I get that all clans wanna suck their own dick and talk about how shit hot they are, but is there like an actual objective list of who is top dog (clanwise) in a 1 v 1 fight?
Crab > all
Mechanically, in an iaijutsu duel, it comes down to Kakita and Mirumoto.

And also luck. LOTS of luck. I've won whole tournaments as a lion just because of ridiculous dice explosions(coupled with the Earth 4 to tank hits).

If its a formal 1 v 1 duel, then the Crane have the best duelists followed by the Dragon. In terms of stand up combat its difficult to say because all of the clans sort of specialize on doing a different thing with their bushi schools, however the Crab and Lion probably have the best straight up murder machines.
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No need for bumping at this point, Crab-anon will have to make a new thread for the next chapter since this one is almost done.

Speaking of picrelated, which clan has the best traps?
Probably Scorpion, what with the whole thing of trickery and deceit
Not Spider?
Scorpion because their duty allows for deceit. Also Mantis, because they generally don't give a fuck about honour and tradition in comparison to other clans. You likely won't find traps in any other clan due to the inherent deceit involved, except for maybe Unicorn. They might get away with it.
>filthy, degenerate gaijin
Yeah, I can see why
Crab use traps a lot too.

The thing is, the best traps are the unintentional traps. Bridget, Luka, Narancia, the characters that aren't TRYING to look like women but are just so feminine that it overwhelms their perceptions.

A Scorpion would be the best for a deliberate deception, but for the BEST traps, you want a Crane prettyboy.
Oh. Wrong kind of trap.
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This is the new Bushi joining the group. What's his clan?
I couldn't tell, I"m not as familiar with L5R as I wish I was.
Spider. Colours are irrelevant, that thing can't be anything but Spider.
I believe she's of the Hansen family, although I don't know what clan

Fresh thread is up

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