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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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Once more the bump limit is reached.
One more a new thread is born.
>When I woke up in the morning I noticed my beard was getting shaggy again.
>Time for a trim then
>I shook my head at the thought
>On the Wall a 'trim' was me pulling my beard taut and slicing it off with a tanto as close to my chin as I could
>Away from the wall there was an assortment of tools to use
>And my fingers were ill suited to fine detail work
>Mirrors were expensive as well, hard to make
>Naomi saw me rubbing at my scruff
>I'll get it Ishisgaki-kun
>Fortunately, I had Naomi
>We sat in silence while she made me presentable, enjoying the intimacy of the moment togother
>Then off for breakfast and polite meal time conversation with the court
>I was fortunate enough that the talk had already shifted away from the sumai tournament and on to the painting contest
>It was, like the sumai tournament, an amateur affair.
>Open to any who cared to pick up a brush
>A large room had been set aside to display the finished works
>Who painted what would be kept secret, so bias against this or that clan would have no weight on the judging
>Naomi had with a few paintings, so I was looking forward to her entry
>I had no doubt even my eyes would be able to pick hers out from the group
>Kitsuki-san was a consummate courtier so I'm sure he would enter as well
>To my surprise those two encouraged the rest of us to enter as well
>The Akodo from the tournament overheard and agreed
>The way of warrior is the two fold way of pen and sword
>One must train their mind as diligently as they train their body, and so be scholar, poet and warrior all at once.
>He nodded to emphasize his point
>Indeed it is one of Akodo's orders that one always carry a text with them.
>If one has nothing else to do, they should read.
>Toshiro, Mantis-san and I all exchanged glances
>It was Naomi who finnaly convinced us
>All the works will be anonymous you three.
>It is only the winner whose work will be known.
>So we agreed to try our hand at painting
The glory of Crab
Is undiminished by time
Now, time for artists.
>I stared for a long time at the blank paper in front of me
>It was taunting me
>I didn't have the first clue what made a good painting so I had no idea where to even start
>And, my hands were rough.
>My fingers thick and a little clumsy.
>Ill suited to delicate work like painting
>In fact the only time I could ever be gentle...
>...was with Naomi...
>I knew what I would paint.
>It was crude, and ugly.
>The lines far to thick
>I used no color
>I was afraid trying I might slop over the lines I had already laid out
>A simple jagged line near the botom represented a layer of snow
>And in the center a single flower bloomed with all it's might
>I struggled for a bit after I painted the stem
>In the end I went with five petals, like the ones Naomi had planted in our garden.
>I'm sure they had some meaning, but like with the patterns she had raked in the sand, I never bothered to ask what.
>That garden was HER garden
>I did not understand the art she brought into and made for our house
>But it brought her happiness to do so
>That was reason enough for it to exist
>I didn't give the painting a name
>I signed my own name to the small paper beside me and called in a servant
>They confirmed that this was my painting and my name, then folded up the paper with my name on it and tucked it behind the painting
>The painting declared the winner would have the paper bearing it's creators name unfolded and read aloud
>everyone else's painting would be returned to their rooms discretely by servants after the judging was finished
>I took a few deep breaths and then went out into the grand hall where the artwork was on display.
>There were a LOT of paintings
>And servants kept bringing in more
>At the door a servant asked my name
>I told them, and they wrote it down
>Then folded up the paper firmly
>He handed the paper to me
>Beneath each painting you will find a bowl, great samurai.
>Please place your vote into the bowl of the painting you judge to be the best
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>Once all the paintings have been brought in, of course, great samurai.
>Please do not vote for your own painting, great samurai
>I looked at the paper in my hand
>I had to ask
>What's to stop someone from just swapping out their vote with the name of a painting they they think is better then their own?
>The servant took two peices of paper.
>The vote ballot is folded thusly
>He folded
>While the artists name is folded in this way
>He folded again
>When he unfolded them they had clearly different creases showing in the paper
>Oh. Okay then.
>I circulated among the paintings already here.
>A few stood out to my eyes
>One was a single vertical line, with almost the entire rest of the painting covered in black ink
>Only a small circle of blank paper surounded the line
>It almost looked like a darkness closing in on, and threatening to engulf, whatever that one line was supposed to be
>There was another that was simply the kanji for 'empty' upon an otherwise blank page
>Except, it wasn't empty, because there was a kanji on it.
>Was that supposed to be clever?
>There were quite a few courtiers discusing that one, so I guess it was
>Lots and lots and lots of dots
>There were several courtiers around that one, arguing over what it could mean
>I looked again
>This looks like a battle formation
>No. Two armies engaging each other.
>If you were looking at a battle from above, anyway.
>I wasn't certain, because the artist had only used black ink, but I thought I could pick out the sides
>I was no great strategist, but I had seen plenty of battles.
>If I was right about which dots were on which side, this battle was going to end without a clear winner. Just piles and piles of corpses
>Oooh? Do you have some idea as to the meaning of this painting, Hida-san?
>It was Scorpion woman, Soshi by the mon on her kimono, that spoke to me
>I looked back.
>The courtiers were all looking at me expectantly,
>There were several Crane and Scorpion in this group, as well as a few Phoenix.
>And the head of the Mantis delegation
>I pointed
>Looks like two armies to me
>See, here and here?
>These are battle formations
>The Soshi hid behind her fan and sniffed
>How uncouth, to make a painting glorifying war when there are peace talks going on
>I wonder about that
>An Asako spoke up
>What do you mean, Hida-san?
>Well, they're all going to die.
>I gestured, explaining how the battle would progress from this point.
>When each unit would likely be ordered to join in, and how the shape would change
>Looks to me like these armies are going to just wipe each other out.
>No one wins
>I laughed at myself
>But what do I know about art anyway?
>I'm probably wrong anyway. Don't mind me.
>Fans fluttered as I got away before I could embarrass myself further.
>There was another painting, of a mother bird feeding her young in a nest
>Behind them was a large wall
>behind the wall, dark, ill defined shapes could be seen trying to climb over it
>The wall was cracked in a few places, but the shapes didn't seem to be having any luck
>At first I thought I had found Toshiro's but the style was to practiced
>his would be uglier, like mine.
>The person who painted this one had painted before, many times
>Of course, with such an obvious meaning, this had to belong to one of my fellow Crabs
>I wondered which one painted in their off time.
>Katsuie-sama, perhaps.
>I'd already seen him playing a Konto, so it wouldn't surprise me if he had other artistic pursuits as well
>I overheard some courtiers talking, another painting had drawn a small crowd
>I went over to see what the fuss was about
>I wonder about the deliberate crudeness of the lines.
>It obviously speaks to the harshness of the world, and how one must struggle to bloom so beautifully.
>indeed, this perfectly captures mono no aware, even without the petals falling.
>there's no way...
>I agree. It was wise to leave it to the veiwer to remember the truth.
>I came up.
>Sure enough, it was my painting
>I'm sorry, I'm a bit crude. But could someone please explain to me what's going on this painting?
>Patronizing smiles only half hidden by fans
>Of course Hida-san
>Look here, this thick line is snow. It's crudeness shows a harsh winter, just as the world can be a harsh and cruel place
>A lone flower, struggling to bloom beautifully with all it's might.
>Though it is far from perfect, no other flower has the strength to do this
>And even as your heart exults in the flowers victory, you are taken over by the bittersweet realization that it will wilt and perish soon, perhaps even alone, before the other flowers bloom themselves.
>Mono no aware; the impermanence of things.
>Moshi Aoi took a moment to peer at the painting
>I think that this painting is extoling the virtues of the artists lover.
>isn't this a Wasurenagusa flower?
>It is hard to tell because the artist used no color.
>The others crowded around again
>gasps arose
>You are right, Moshi-san!
>A secret declaration of love!
>A winter romance already!
>flutering intesifies
>The fuck did I just do?
>I beat a hasty retreat
>I understood that great art was supposed to be subtle, full of hidden meaning
>I hadn't realized this meant art critics would talk out of their asses and see things the artist never intended
>It was just Naomi, just my Hana-chan
>Not some epic treatise on short beautiful lives
>And certainly not the declaration of a winter romance
>I didn't even know what those wasa.. wa.. wasabi flowers, or whatever the hell they were called, meant when I painted that
>True Love.
>Of course that was where Naomi would start
>Well then, I supposed I would just let the courtiers gossip about a non-existent romance
>Don't misunderstand, of course I loved my wife dearly.
>But a winter romance was a different thing to that.
Painting with a brush
Flowers, With a tesubo
Hida's ennemies
>Love is, at best, a secondary consideration in marriage, if it is considered at all.
>It is taboo for a samurai to show emotion in public, and this extends to love as well
>In plays and stories however Love is often an element
>Most of the time, the lovers meet a tragic end for their feelings
>Most of the time, this is what would happen in real life as well
>I remember one play I saw, about two bushi who loved one another dearly.
>They would often duel one another testing each others skills and pushing the other to excel, and so they were both quite skilled with their blades.
>Such was their skill that they dueled with real blades, and never hurt one another.
>this kind of skill could be seen at some of the top tournaments in Rokugan, like the Test of the Emerald Champion.
>What began as a rivalry blossomed into romance, then into love
>However, the parents of the Samurai-ko arranged a marriage for her, even though they knew of her love
>On the wedding day, the two lovers had one last duel with each other
>The parents and her husband to be thought it a minor indulgence, one last duel to end their rivalry and love forever.
>The lovers killed each other, by stabbing each other through the heart at the same time.
>This play was written about two people who did such a thing in reality.
>A winter romance was the closest thing a Samurai was supposed to get to love, in the real world.
>One person would, though subtle innuendo and often hidden in works of art, extol the virtues of the person they were romancing
>It was a game, dancing on the edge of acceptable behavior.
>One must be subtle enough to not let on who they were courting for real, yet it was no good if the one being courted could not themselves realize it.
>If, buy the time it was over, everyone knew but could not prove who was involved then it was successful.
>The participants would both be talked about with admiration for some time, perhaps even years.
>The best ones would be immortalized in art
>Of course, should someone be able to PROVE who was involved things would not go so well
>Many times, some brash young fool would persue a married woman
>Sometimes, should samurai love someone who ends up married to another, they persue their love in this way
>Having clandenstine affairs during the winter courts
>Those that get caught will be spoken off for some time as well
>as a warning to those would selfishly persue their own desires instead of their duty
>whatever the outcome, a winter romance would be a very exciting thing to for everyoe to try and keep track off
>I suppose then, that I had unintenionaly muddied the waters making it easier for those who would try one this year
>It was while I was thinking of these things that I came upon the next portrait
>It was a woman, facing away from the viewer
>She was slipping her Kimono off, exposing her back down almost to her rear, and looking over her shoulder seductively
>There was nothing to distingush a clan or even caste
>I wondered it this was the Moshi pervert's submission
>I saw many that were quite simple, paintings of animals, landscapes, some fortunes
>One was of Ebisu, a pleased smile on his face, as he watched over peasants planting the next crop of rice
>Kitsuki-san was extolling the virtue of an honest peaceful life to a group of assembled courtiers in front of that one.
>There were already a few ballots in that ones bowl
>I looked around. The servants were not bringing in any more paintings
>I realized I could be here all day and not see, or at least not understand, all the paintings here.
>I followed Kitsuki-san's lead and tossed my ballot in that one.
>Though I still hadn't seen Naomi's painting.
>Once everyone had cast their votes, the servants tallied them up and Shoji announced the winner
>It was Ebisu watching the pesants.
>I was absolutely mortified
>As I watched an embarrassed Monkey walk up and get his accolades for having the best painting.
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Monkey you fucking jinx.
Damn, I was really expecting Crab-san to win and then have some great misunderstandings with pervy-mantis lady
I'd have called "Mary Sue" if he won.
Because come on, Ishigaki is great and all that, but really?
>Several runner ups were on display, without naming the painters of course
>I was more than a little shocked to see mine up there.
>So had the dot battle
>And 'Empty'
>Now it was Monkey's turn to be swarmed by courtiers
>Kitsuki-san came to the rescue, helping poor Monkey by covering for any gaffes
>I silently wished them luck and thanked the Fortunes it wasn't me this time
>I see your painting did well, Ishigaki-kun.
>Naomi came up to me, smiling
>But, why are you trying to court me? I thought we were already married.
>She was teasing me again.
>too many people around for me to swat her rump this time.
>Looks like you chose this battlefield well, Naomi. But I'm going to launch a counterattack tonight.
>She hid her blush behind her fan.
>Tonight then.
>Um. My eyes are bad at judging art, and there's a lot here...
>You couldn't find mine?
>She did not seem saddened by that, though a bit surpised.
>It is here
>The birds and the wall.
>Naomi? YOU did this?
>I thought you would go for something more... gentle.
>Ishigaki-kun, you painted a picture of me.
>What do you suppose I panted?
>I stared, starting to get it
>That is you. You are my wall, protecting me. And our children.
>She bopped my nose with her fan, for not seeing it sooner.
>Toshiro had been the smartass who made 'Empty'
>Mantis-san had simply done a sailor, standing on the prow of a boat
>And Kitsuki-san a landscape. It was very detailed, almost jumping off the paper.
>that night, I launched my counterattack and laid siege to my wife's castle
>Her gates opened before my might, and I stormed inside her fortress
>But in the end, it was a draw.
>We were both victorious.
I fully get that and agree with you but he started talking (pretty indepth) about winter romances so I had to assume it was coming.

Sadly, while I usually give bonuses to players who describe their actions well, not having the actual skill still hurts in a competition...
That was just crab-anon doing the exposition/info-dump.
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>those last four lines

I'm jelly
Break time, need food. Gonna eat, slap some ice on my fingers and be back later on tonight.
My guess was that Toshiro's was the bisected circle of white.
Don't get me wrong cool-ass dm guy, i didn't expect crab to win but I had to assume it was coming when he started talking about the winter love stuff
I wonder who did the dot battle. My bet is on the Soshi woman or some other Scorpion.
Or Katsuie.
I have a question: what would happen if a samurai that had taken part of a tournament, had defeated the emerald champion and had been asked to become the new emerald champion... if they refused to do the emperor's bidding and become the new emerald champion? Would they have to commit seppuku?
Why enter and win the tournament for somethin>>52687642
g you aren't willing to do?
If the samurai wanted to be acknowledged as the strongest of Rokugan but bears ill will toward the Emperor, for example
Being ordered to by your lord? Family obligations, protecting the prestige?
do you remeber when Ishigaki talked about Kaze-do? And how Togashi Kaze, the guy who invented it, first only taught it to pesants?

In 268 the Emperor Hantei Ningi had summoned the Dragon and ordered him to show his unarmed fighting style. As his techniques were only for peasants, because the peasants weren't allowed to carry weapons, Kaze refused. Ningi ordered the Emerald Champion to execute Kaze, but when Emerald Champion Doji Kuzume refused to kill Kaze and committed seppuku the Emperor temporarily elevated Lion Clan Champion Matsu Noshin to the position and ordered him to execute Kaze, which he did.


So there is at least precident for a Champion being replaced on the Emperors whim and not via the Test of the Emerald Champion, and there is also precedent for sudokuing in shame for not following the Emperor's commands

But I would say it's such an odd situation that the outcome would depend entirely on the personalities of the people involved

I imagine he'd be beset by dozens of challengers calling him to duels on the grounds that he's dishonorably shirking his duties, who are in turn hoping that THEY can become the new Emerald Champion.
So it would depend on the Emperor if the samurai is to commit seppuku/be executed?
That would be a reasonable outcome.

Do you think they would be to the death, or something else?
I don't think anon was referring to the test of the emerald champion specifically, just a rando tournament with the Emerald Champion participating.

Because the Emerald Champion is a life long appointment. Generally, the tourney to decide who the Emerald Champion is is a once in a Generation thing.
I would say so, yeah.
Some Emperors might be offended that their being refused, others may be pleased that this person acknowledges their own limitations.

Gotta remember, the Emerald Champion isn't just the best duelist in Rokugan. The Emerald Champion is the Emperoro's Champion. There was only one thing in all the third ed stuff printed that really stood out, and that was the Test of the Emerald Champion. It pointed out all the things the EC had on his plate

The reason the EC had to be the best damn duelist in the Empire was because he was the Emperor's champion. He would stand in for the Emperor in duels. Now stop and think about that. Who in the FUCK is going to duel the Emperor? The EC needed to know heraldry, law because he headed the Emerald Magistrates, commerce because he was in charge of a massive organization and he needed to spend the Emperors funds wisely.

Basically before the race to the throne split created all those different imperial posts like the Voice and the all that, the EC was ALL of those things. Akodo Keneka created the office of Shogun during the four winds era and butted heads with Yasuki Hachi who was the EC at the time, because leading the Imperial Legions in war was still the EC's job.

So there is a lot for the EC to do, besides swing a sword. It's not unreasonable for someone to realize they just aren't cut out for it.
Would it be unreasonable for the samurai who bested the champion of the Emperor to become part of the bodyguard retinue instead?
It probably depends heavily on how dishonorabru the original winner was about declining the honor. If he made a good case about how he wasn't worthy he'd probably get away with duels to first blood. His cleanest getaway would probably be to decline the direct promotion, but accept entry into a Test of Emerald to determine the new champion, and put up an honorable and competent but unspectacular performance.

On the other hand if he did a bad job at begging off of it, or was just outright rude, he'd be very open to challenges to the death.

I'd say unlikely. Bodyguarding the Emperor is the job of the Seppun family after all.
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Well we got a new scanner at work. I might have to darken up the pictures and do some touching up to make them more visible, but I'll at least throw them out here.

First up, everyone's favorite jinx: Monkey!
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Up next, Ishigaki's best bud: Toshiro
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And lastly, a bit of bonus art that I had laying around.

Guess who!
So what does the emperor (empress?) Themselves actually do?
>that spoiler
Of Ishigaki, or Naomi?

The emperor exists as the absolute authority on anything and everything. If you want to think in game mechanics, you could say Rokugan assumes the Emperor's Honor stat is always at maximum. Everything the Emperor(ess) does is perfect, their word is law, all the land is theirs and everyone is their vassal.

Basically, what the emperor says goes, period. It's a massive amount of power that the Emperor must use sparingly lest the clans get pissed and a rebelion breaks out.

What, no love for the drawfag?
So the Emperor's job is to wear a funny hat and have at least one child. Got it.
>We took a private breakfast, just our little group.
>Once again, Mantis-san was not present
>Kituski-san thanked me for explaining Dot Battle
>Uh, you're welcome?
>It was Amano's work.
>Yesterday we took the temperature of the court, so to speak.
>Seeing how popular images of peaceful life, or at least the futility of war, were.
>Is that why you were talking at length about Monkey's painting?
>Wait, huh?
>Monkey looked absolutely crestfallen
>You mean I didn't win because it was good?
>Kitsuki-san reacted quickly
>No Monkey, Ishigaki-san is wrong. I WAS speaking about your painting, but I was speaking about it represented.
>It was a fine painting Monkey, and you won on your own merrits.
>You sure?
>He stuffed a rice ball into his mouth. Whole. And grinned, pleased with himself.
>The good news is that by the votes we can tell sentiment is currently strongly against the Mantis.
>They will have to be more sparing with their demands for peace then?
>Naomi's tone was hopefull
>Kitsuki-san nodded to her.
>Yes. If they overreach then there is a posibility of other clans promising aid to the Phoenix.
>I nodded along.
>So we're ahead, and our objective should be to go defensive and maintain our advantage.
>Exactly so, Ishigaki-san
>Monkey raised his hand
>Um, how are we gonna do that, Ishigaki-san?
>I stared at Monkey. Hard. Until he put his hand down in confusion.
>I wasn't about to admit I had no idea how to do that either.
>Kitsuki-san stiffled a chuckle by coughing into his hand
>Just conitnue on as you would normally Monkey, and you too Ishigaki.
>You need not worry about pushing things along.
>Besides, since there is no competition today, you will likely be a focal point for discussion again Monkey.
>Monkey's eyes widened.
>I had seen that look on the faces of Goblins when I dangled them over the south side of the wall, before dropping them
>I excused myself early, before Monkey could think to ask for help
Monkey looks like a shonen protagonist. It's very fitting.
Is that with or without the kabuki makeup? It works either way.
Courtier gonna courtier.

All saved, thank you so much for posting these!
nah its scorpion with the big boobs
I thought scorpion bro was a dude...?
got the clan wrong, meant the new mantis Moshit Aoi
He means the perverted Mantis Shugenja chick.
>Katusie-sama asked for my presence in his room later on that day
>I was surprised to see the painting of the woman on the wall there.
>Wait, you did that?
>uh, Katusie-sama?
>Yes. It is my niece.
>I stared.
>She is... difficult. A tomboy with a real temper.
>And quite ferocious.
>Fine traits for warrior upon the Wall, but I hope to help her find a good husband and settle down a bit.
>You know well, how married life and the responsibility of being a parent can calm the raging fires of youth, do you not?
>A bit, yes Katsuie-sama.
>But, enough about that.
>I asked you here because I wished to here about how you and friends are doing.
>I explained Kituski-san's thoughts on the Crane, and his interpretation of the voting yesterday.
>I stumbled a bit over the part where we were working with the Scorpion, unsure how that would go over.
>But Katusie-sama just sipped his tea.
>Necessity often makes for strange bedfellows, after all.
>Thank you for you candidness Ishkigaki-san. You have given me much to think about.
>I took that for the dismissal it was and headed back out.
>Now, how was I going to lay low the rest of the day?
>I saw Kitsuki-san, engaged in a game of go with Moshi Aoi
>Monkey was drowning in courtiers
>I left before he saw me
>I found Mantis-san sitting in a room with the doors to the outside open, allowing in a nice breeze.
>I sat down
>Monkey is haveing a rough time.
>He nodded.
>ran away before he could ask for help, did you?
>He nodded again.
>You too, huh?
>We chuckled
>he pulled out a go set.
>Sure, why not.
>We played
>Mantis-san was reckless, with a style that slashed at my flanks over and over again
>I played a much more defensive game, trying to lure my oponent into reckless offense so I could nip out and take more territory.
>It was close, but Mantis-san was just able to edge me out when the game ended.
>Good game.
>Yeah, likewise.
>Are things going well for you, Mantis-san?
>We shouldn't really talk about that
>I don't mean your clan, I mean you specifically.
>He scowled.
>I don't know if I can figure out a way to bitch without giving something away, though...
>Sounds like you need a drink
>I do. Yohko, that's the lead delegate, hates Aoi with a passion. She's always pissed Aoi gets all the attention, even though she's only doing what she's told...
>He cut off.
>You didn't do that on purpose, did you Ishigaki-san?
>You think I'm that smooth?
>yeah, you're right there.
>hah. Well whatever. I don't really care at this point.
>The Mantis delegation is sabotaging itself with infighting. And Yoritomo Yohko thinks I should try and play double agent to get us back on track.
>I refused, of course, and now she's pissed at me.
>Seriously, that damn bitch is as vindictive as your father in law.
>Huh. I can see why you're pissed then.
>I wont tell anyone.
>you don't sit in our meetings, so I won't tell anyone about this little slip up.
>Thanks, Ishigaki-san.
>Another game?
>I got him the second time around.
>We were just about to go for two out of three when a shriek arose
>we looked at one another
>We both knew that song
>We ran towards the cries
>a crowd was begining to gather as we made our way through.
>A servant, still shrieking her head off was staring at the lifeless body of Yoritomo Yohko.
>A wakizashi with a charm dangling off the end of the hilt jutted up from her chest
>Without thining about it I extended my arms and began pushing back the crowd, ordering them back from the scene
>Mantis-san gave the servant a soft slap.
>She stared at him, in shock
>But she stopped screaming
>Shoji burst through the crowd
>Looked at the Mantis delegate
>and sank to his knees
>Not the reaction I was expecting.
>I knew that the implications of this murder must be far worse for him than I realized, if he reacted like that.
>Then he saw me
>You were an Emerald Magistrate once! You MUST find who did this!
It's with. white base, black around the eyes, and the slashes are red
I didn't think it fitted how you described him.
Well, he wears the paint to cover up his nasty case of Zukoface. Or maybe I did a shit job with the description. I do know I've only mentioned a few times he uses the tetsubo as a crutch, so he can get away with being armed in polite company. The tetsubo is the THUMP when he thumpdrags around.
It looks more like a trio of paintlines across his face and a serious case of bags under his eyes then actual face-covering paint.
Ah, that's just cause it's in black and white. Guys colorblind, that's why he doesn't do color sketches.
Hard to convey the feel of face paint in just black and white pencil sketch, y'know?
What about shading? I'm a pitiful artist and even I can do that...
>For Shoji to ask me, of all people for help.
>And to do so without hesitation.
>I realized this was a very big deal
>Kitsuki-san and Naomi arived on scene next, along with the Karo
>Hey, hey guys! Magistrate coming through, make way please
>And there's Monkey and Toshiro
>I looked evenly at Shoji, now that everyone was here.
>You're sure you want US to handle this investigation?
>He looked at Toshiro, avoiding Naomi
>You may be Jade Magistrates now, but you were Emerald Magistrates before, and there is a Mantis among you!
>None can doubt you will be impartial in this matter!
>He stared hard at the assembled courtiers, almost daring anyone to contradict him
>Find the culprit, quickly!
>He took off, the Karo right behind
>I shooed the lookie loos some more, then glowered when that wasn't working.
>The glower did work
>Moshi Aoi was the last to leave
>She adressed Kitsuki-san
>You were an Emerald Magistrate?
>Then you will be able to find the one responsible, won't you?
>he looked up at her
>Of course I will. WE will
>She nodded
>thank you
>she left then
>Mantis-san waited for a bit, then sighed.
>Guess I should tell everyone now.
>Yohko here hated Aoi
>Kitsuki-san looked up
>was it mutual?
>I can't be certain. But Yohko was a vengefull bitch if you got on her bad side. A bit like Shoji, actually.
>I see.
>See anything useful, Kitsuki-san?
>Hmmm. red silk for the tsuka ito, the tsuba a bronze oval without decoration. and this charm here...
>It is for peaceful dreams.
>Damn, that is twisted.
>you said it Monkey.
>We withdrew the wakizahi and cleaned it, then asked for a servant to bring us a spare sword stand to keep it on
>Toshiro looked the body over, but there was no way to perform an autopsy without raising too many questions.
>Her arms are cut up
>Defensive wounds.
>And she was stabbed from the front
>So she was not caught completely off guard
I don't remember, but is Kitsuki married?
>Toshiro waved over one of the eta waiting for us to be finished
>lift up that arm there
>One stab to straight through the heart, but many more cuts on her body
>Can't tell if it's an amateur, or just rage though.
>Kitsuki-san nodded
>Okay then, someone who she did not trust, drew their short blade and attacked wildly, overpowering her and finishing her off.
>Toshiro nodded.
>Looks like it.
>Mantis-san folded his arms.
>My money is on rage then. Another courtier she pissed off. Another courtier she pissed off most likely.
>That, sweet dreams bit seems pretty personal.
>Kitsuki-san stood up, and nodded to the eta
>They began to clean up
>We went back to our rooms to talk and set the wakazashi down
>At this point, I am inclined to agree Mantis-san.
>But we would be remiss if we did not first check to see if we can find the owner of this blade.
>Monkey stared at the weapon
>hey, if the killer used their own blade wouldn't that make it stupidly easy to find them?
>it would.
>Which is why we should check to see if they know someone who might want to frame them
>What if they're just running away, like right now?
>It couldn't be that easy, could it?
>best not risk it.
>Our first line of questions, unexpectedly and to everyone we passed, was whether or not anyone was missing
>As it turned out, someone was
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Also calling it here. My damn wrists are aching cause I'm typing on a laptop without any proper support. See you all tomorrow.
The winner could survive if they made up some bullshit referencing Hida and Akodo.

Say that while you defeated the Emerald champion you saw as you beat him that you were unworthy of the position.
something tells me that there's a "yet" missing from the end of that sentence.
A mystery of
Murder most foul, a Mantis
And Wakizashi.
none haiku bump
Left hanging on cliff
Tensions soaring to new heights
Balls, blue as crab mon

He looks more badass than I originally thought: I like it!

He has a nice face. I bet he is a great husband!
I kinda imagined him with more of a paunch, but guess crab life does not allow that luxury.
Damn it Ishigaki! Now I want to play L5R!

And I just started a campaign of M&M... whatever, I'll just tell the group to suck it up and play some L5R with me.
Does anyone have the mega- trove for 4th edition here? We had the link in the last general but I couldn't save it in time..
Pretty sure it was mega:#F!KI00XCZA!sFV9L2S77bld5vzEmw5-vg!OMlxFBoA

Ishigaki's story really makes me want to play L5R, but even just reading through all the material is fun.
that works, thank you anon
Any ideas on whodunit?
I have no idea why or how, but my money's on Moshi, the sexy scorpion lady who is also a pervert.
She's Mantis.

The only Scorpions we've seen so far is Amano (Kistsuki's pal) and some Soshi woman who Ishigaki explained dot battle to.
Oh, right.

Well, for me she is the prime suspect. The second suspect would be Amano, because that would provide a whole lot of drama.

My guess would be a Crane. Their delegation favours the Mantis, so perhaps they hope to use the murder to swing favour against the Phoenix.
My guess on someone else from Mantis delegation. Yohko seemed like the main destabilizing factor of their group, by killing her off they could unify the group and also play off her death to throw negotiations in the needed track.

Alterbnatively it could be Scorpions playing both sides here, as this method seems like what they would do.
>Of Ishigaki, or Naomi?
Shoji or his son. Shoji because he would do something like this to disgrace Ishigaki & Naomi,or his son to disgrace his father into committing seppuku.
Why would Hohiro want to shame his father into committing seppuku?
Definitely not Shoji. His reputation would suffer much more if the parrty failed to find the culprit for the murder on his territory (which your post implies would be his plan), not to mention what would happen if they do manage to track it back to him.
Shoji is an asshole, but he's not that dumb.
>A gunso informed us one of his hohei did not show for muster this morning
>He said her name was Shiba Ayame
>Did she stay in the baracks here?
>Hai, I shall show you
>Please do, Shiba-san
>As we headed towards the baracks Kitsuki-san looked again at the wakizashi
>Yes, this is indeed the blade of a private fresh from her gempuku.
>In Rokugan, peasants are not allowed to carry weapons of any kind
>The exception being ashirgaru, and crab peasants
>However, even peasant soldiers are never allowed to have a daisho
>The paired long and short blades are the symbol of a samurai's status
>Some Samurai do not wear their katana
>Wearing it means you claim skill with it
>And thus you must defend yourself with it
>That means that if, say, Kitsuki-san were to be challenged to a duel, he would have to fight it himself
>Whereas Naomi and Toshiro, who do not wear Katana, would have the right to name a champion to fight the duel in their stead
>ALL samurai wear their wakizahshi however.
>even if, like Naomi, they only ever draw it to clean it.
>In fact, in many places where a samurai is expected to leave their weapons behind, it is still acceptable to wear one's short blade
>For those of high rank, and especially those who expect never to have to fight with it, the short blade often becomes a work of art more than a weapon.
>Kitsuki-san spoke again
>We will need to search her belongings thoroughly for any clue as to where she may have gone.
>I came to an abrupt halt as we entered the barracks.
>Or, she could have just overslept
>I find that hard to be...oh you've GOT to be kidding me.
>Shiba Ayame lay on her futon, curled into a little ball and snored softly
>A daisho stand was at the head of her futon
>The saya for the wakazashi was empty
>I knelt down and prodded her gently
>Behind me I heard her gunso trying to decide if he should have a stroke, aneurysm, or apoplectic fit.
>hmmm? whua?
>Hey. Wake up.
>We need to talk
>>Shiba Ayame lay on her futon, curled into a little ball and snored softly

Cute. Cute!
The crab has returned
What does he have for us now?
A cute samurai.
Why is this Ayame Shiba Bushi cute? We haven't even seen art yet.
Cute samuraiko sleeps.
Cuteness is a poor shield from
Gunso's angry boot.
The blade is taken
Shiba slumbers through murder
Peaceful dreams indeed.
>She sat up, bleary eyed and with a fairly advanced case of bed head
>Ayame must be a fitfull sleeper as her obi had come undone.
>I coughed loudly to help wake her up faster, and when she looked at me pointed down a few times
>She snatched her Kimono closed and began retying her obi
>Though embarrassed she did a good job feigning aloof dignity
>You don't sleep well?
>She glared at me
>I don't see what business it is of yours.
>Who are all you people anyway?
>You didn't come here just on the offchance of catching a peek...
>She finaly noticed her gunso
>and that she was the only soldier in the baracks
>Uh... gunso? What time is it?
>He decided he would have all three.
>You... YOU IMBECILE! Do you have any idea
>Mantis-san stepped in front of him, cutting him off.
>Like I said, we need to talk.
>We gave her a moment to make her self presentable
>then we played a game
>Good magistrate, better magistrate, bad magistrate, and keep that magistrate the hell away from me
>More specifically, Kitsuki-san asked her firm, yet polite questions.
>Monkey would protest on her behalf at times, saying he could see she would not lie about this or that thing.
>Mantis-san took over directly glowering at Kitsuki-san's signal
>:While I loomed just behind her, occasionally stepping just inside the edge of her vision for a moment or two
>The four way assault left Shiba Ayame terribly confused, stammering and stumbling over her words
>Kitsuki-san had said before that it was desirable for a suspect to be in such a state, as they would have a hard time remembering the little details of any lies they had to make up on the spot
>She freely admitted that the wakizashi was hers.
>What is going on?
>Are you saying you found this somewhere? That someone took it from the baracks while I slept?
>Kistuki-san shook his head.
>Are you still maintaining that?
>YES! I went to sleep around 10 last nigh, and I awoke her and now with you all leering at me!
>That is all!
>This charm here. What is it for?
>it's... nothing.
>Monkey blinked at her
>Ya sure? Cause I know that I can't see 'nothing' but I can see something on the end of your wakizashi here
>I could almost see the smoke coming out of ears as she tried to figure out what the hell Monkey just said.
>I sympathized; I wasn't entirely certain Monkey wasn't having some sort of fit myself.
>Kistuki-san gave a sigh that sounded like a mildly disappointed parent.
>Shiba-san, please do not insult my intelligence.
>As my companion here has pointed out that charm is clearly not 'nothing'
>I will ask again. What is it?
>It's what you think it is. I have bad dreams...
>She seemed sullen about it
>Kitsuki-san closed his eyes and considred her words, tapping his fan in his hand
>Which was the signal for me to get back in her line of sight
>I did so, and loomed magnificently if I do say so myself.
>That shocked her out of her sullen pout
>What is the nature of these dreams, Shiba-san?
>Wh- why does that even matter?
>Answer my question.
>Monkey leaned in
>hey, I'd like to know too. They're just dreams, aren't they.
>Kitsuki-san turned to Monkey, but I could see him watching Ayame intently out of the corner of his eye as replied
>Dreams are never just dreams. They can show us glimpses of the future, or make sense of things we could not in our waking hours.
>Sometimes little things we perceive, but whose significance is lost on us, become apparent in our dreams.
>For example, a Lord once returned from winter court and had a nightmare that he was surrounded by a thousand enemies
>He chose to heed the warning of his dream and strengthened his castle's defenders.
>A week later, a military alliance that was formed during that winter court launched an attack on his castle, only to be repulsed due to his preparations.
>Though he had never even found a hint of the alliance, he nonetheless saw hints in the behavior of the conspirators, that his dream then revealed.
Don't tell me she actually sleepwalked and killed Yohko in her sleep. Is it possible for some shugenja to make someone do that with their magic?
You see how she got embarrassed about the Charm? How she obviously didn't want to talk about it, but was absolutely okay with talking about her wakizashi?

I'm betting that someone (I.E. a boy she likes) gave her the charm, and she doesn't want her to talk about who gave it to her.
I'm betting that the charm is secretly enchanted to make her sleepwalk and commit murder, via Maho.
I'm betting Hohiro gave her the charm, and that she has a crush on him, and doesn't want to admit it.
If Master of the Earth took time to give some charm to some samuraiko in training that's a pretty impressive case of "senpai noticed me".
I'm also betting that he gave it to her before he became master of earth. Maybe.
Nah, that's too far-fetched. Hohiro became MotE more than a year ago now, unless he had a habit to give mind-controlling charms to everyone he meets just in case he had to somehow know that this particular no-name will be in the perfect position to commit a murder that will by proxy destroy peace negotiations for a conflict that didn't really start back then.
>Ayame bowed her head and shouted
>Th-they slip from my grasp every time I awaken...
>Only the feeling remains. And it is hard to describe.
>While we had been interrogating her in another room, Toshiro and Naomi had searched her belongings for any clues.
>They must have found something pertinent
>She looked up as Toshiro thumpdragged in
>he handed a piece of paper to Kitsuki-san
>Kitsuki-san unfolded it, and spread it out
>A single line surounded by black in, with only a small space of blank paper around it, was on that paper
>My painting! What are you doing with this?
>You went through my things!?
>Kitsuki-san ignored her questions
>Is this
>he tapped the painting with his fan
>What you feel when you wake up?
>She looked around
>Monkey gave her an encouraging nod
>...yes. It is.
>Toshiro nodded to me
>I touched my jade to the back of her neck
>She yelped and jumped almost high enough to hit the ceiling
>But she did not burn
>What was that! Who ARE you people? Why aren't you answering me!?
>She was on the verge of tears now.
>We are magistrates
>Kitsuki-san replied
>A crime has been commited, and you are a suspect in that crime.
>That is all you need to know, for now.
>For now, I must ask you to please remain in this room while we continue our investigation.
>She went paler with every word.
>Oversleeping and missing muster was now the least of her worries
>We left, with Monkey and Naomi both giving her encouraging smiles
>Once we were alone
>Do you not think you perhaps a BIT too harsh Kitsuki-san
>No Naomi-san, I do not.
>I needed to see the full range of her emotions with my own eyes, to better judge her.
>And she is telling the truth. She remembers only going to sleep and waking up.
>So then she didn't do it?
>Kitsuki-san shook his head
>Not necessarily.
>It is possible for some criminals to truly not remember their crimes.
>many killers drink so much that they cannot remember the night before and kill someone in a drunken rage, for example.
>Kitsuki-san narrowed his eyes
>And, she harbors a bone deep hatred of the Mantis
>Her eyes betrayed her, whenever she would look at you Mantis-san.
>Toshiro folded his arms
>Mantis and Phoenix have had some minor issues in the past.
>Toshiro was rather fond of understatement and one liners.
>In hindsight, I'm embarrassed I didn't realize 'Empty' was his painting.
>Monkey snorted.
>'Minor' yeah. Like the last time we were here.
>Kitsuki-san stared at Monkey
>There are times, Monkey, when your genius astounds me
>Want to let the rest of us in that?
>Her hatred is deep, and much more personal than just clan rivalries.
>We need to split up, ask every one you find about her.
>She has some reason for her hatred; we must find out!
>Naomi cocked her head at Kitsuki-san
>Are you honestly suggesting that Shiba Ayame is so full of repressed hatred she went into some sort of fuge state and butchered Yohko?
>I'm not suggesting anything at this point Naomi-sama
>But I will say it's a strong possibility
>Mantis-san frowned
>I find that a little hard to belive myself, Naomi-sama, but Yohko DID have all those wounds...
>Kistuki-san nodded
>And that painting. Ishigaki-san confirmed it was the taint taking hold of her, so it looks to me like madness instead.
>Monkey shook his head
>I'm with Naomi-sama on this one. I just can't see it.
>Kitsuki-san looked at Monkey and Naomi expectantly.
>You have another explanation, then?
>We split up trying to find out the source of Shiba Ayame's hate
>I was a bit distracted, wondering if I should have taken Kitsuki-san to task for the tone he took with my wife.
>He could be single minded when pursuing an investigation.
>And very self assured.
>he'd even forgotten Naomi outranked him, briefly.
>She yelped and jumped almost high enough to hit the ceiling
>But she did not burn

>Ishigaki-san confirmed it was the taint taking hold of her,

Huh, I thought that meant she was untainted, just very skittish. So, minor taint?
crab-anon probably meant to say "confirmed it was not the taint taking hold of her"
>Unfortunately, our first days inquires revealed only that Ayame was too new to have made many acquaintances yet.
>we ate dinner in our rooms, attempting to avoid questions
>Oka-san, however, came to speak with us
>Naomi-chan, how is your investigation going?
>Kitsuki-san interrupted
>We really should not discuss an ongoing investigation.
>Oka-san gave him a cold look
>let me ask you this then. Do you realize what is at stake here?
>I answered
>the peace talks, yes.
>No, Ishigaki-san, there is more on the line than you realize.
>She looked at Naomi again.
>It was made quite clear to your father that failure in these talks was NOT an option.
>If the death of the Mantis delegate threatens the peace talks, then the Clan is quite willing to atone with the death of the responsible party.
>The realization struck me like a tetsubo to the gut.
>THAT explains Shoji's reaction, and why he was so desperate to find the killer.
>Naomi didn't take the news that unless we found someone more suitable her father was going to be a sacrificial piece in this game of inter-clan politics very well.
>No coughing fit, at least.
>But she was still visibly shaken
>Who else knows how serious this is, Oka-san?
>The Karo, and the Council.
>It was their decision for Shoji to host the peace talks, since this was site of the last battle between our clans, and the Mantis were defeated here.
>The letter the council sent also let your father know EXACTLY how much was expected of him.
>I scratched my beard.
>Naomi, Toshiro, there's something I'd like to confirm.
>Kitsuki-san looked up
>You have a thought, Ishiaki?
>Yeah, I do.
>I gathered up all of Ayame's belognings
>there weren't that many, really
>Diasho, stand, armor, naginata, kimono, and a spare, basic grooming tools, brushes and ink, a shogi board, a tea set and a few books
>I started
>Is it possible to cast a spell on something, and have it take effect later, when condition is met?
>Naomi nodded right away.
No fucking way. Hohiro, you cunt, you actually went for it?
motherfucking stupid ass fingers.

Yes, there was supposed to be "not" in there.
If that really is him I can't believe that he's doing this for dad's wealth. He's Master of the Earth, plus seeing how crafty he is if there's something he wants and doesn't have he can get it anyway.
So, personal revenge? Paying back for Shoji being his usual asshole self to him during his younger years? I doubt he'd give Hohiro much love even if he was fulfilling Shoji's expectations.
>There is indeed a potent water spell that does something like that. I can prepare a spell and set a condition under which the kami will grant it
>Toshiro nodded as well
>the Asahina family has a type of magic where they bind spells into objects. 'Fetishes' they call them
>Hai. And the Iuchi have their gaijin crystal magic, though I do not know more than that some Iuchi use crystals in place of Scrolls...
>I nodded.
>Okay then, if there were a spell that subverted a persons mind...
>Toshiro and Naomi looked at one another
>pulled scrolls and began to work their magic
>Kitsuki-san watched intently, gnawing on the tip of his fan.
>At this point, everyone knew what I was thinking.
>Toshiro let up a cry
>The Charm!
>It's the damn charm!
>He pulled a pair of chopsticks and pulled the charm off with them
>Naomi selected one of the scrolls she had spread out
>Carefull, don't touch it directly.
>There's some taint left on this thing. Very faint, but it's there.
>Naomi held her hands just around the charm
>The started to glow with a soft blue light
>Yes... yes there was magic in this charm.
>It's gone now though, I can't tell anymore than that. But it was Maho!
>So. We all let the implications of that sink in for a moment and properly terrify us.
>We then went to ask Shiba Ayame where she had gotten the charm
>Huh? The charm? I bought it, from a traveling merchant.
>Is he still here?
>I don't know, I've been locked up in this room all day thanks to you!
>Well what did he look like?
>Just a merchant, pudgy guy, plainly dressed, big pack on his back full of trinkets to sell...
>What, what's going on?
>That merchant sold you a Tainted charm
>What, tainted how? Wait. Do you mean Tainted tianted? THAT Tainted?!
>I nodded. It had a maho spell place upon it, that brought out your hatred of the Mantis
>How do you know
>I jerked my head over to Kitsuki-san
>So, what is it? Why do you hate them?
>Speak up!
They killed her senpai before he could notice her?
>Those bastards KILLED HIM!
>Here! Right here in this castle!
>Holy shit.
>Wait. Ayame-san, are you saying that your senpai graduated and was stationed here when the Mantis attacked?
>And now they have the gall to come waltzing back in making more demands, as though they didn't get trounced the last time!
>We all stared at each other in shock
>Toshiro said it
>Destiny is a bitch
>Bonds of fate
>Connections to people we didn't even know, or notice
>events in out past impacting the present
>Ayame looked at us in confusion
>What is it?
>Naomi spoke to her
>How much do you know of what happened that night Ayame-san?
>Only that the Mantis attacked in the dead of night, like cowards. Senpai died when an arrow struck him. It was one of the first they fired.
>Samurai are supposed to have glorious, honorable deaths!
>He was just standing there when an arrow came out of the night and hit him!
>She was glaring at Mantis-san
>Had been, the whole time
>Naomi knelt down beside her.
>Ayame-san, I am a water tensai
>huh? But you're a Hida.
>By marrige.
>She glanced my way, and Ayame followerd her gaze.
>Before that I was Isawa Naomi.
>And I was here that night.
>So was everyone else, save Toshiro.
>And we all fought to protect this castle
>I don't think they had any idea I was here.
>And no one bothered to tell me they were going to start some shit.
>I see.
>You said I was sold a tainted charm, and a maho spell influenced me somehow.
>But you touched me with jade, right?
>Yeah. You're clean.
>She looked relived.
>So. You still haven't told me what I did.
>You killed Yoritomo Yohko, the head of the Mantis delegation.
>her eyes went wide.
>What's going to happen to me now?
>That was a very good question.
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I'm going to let you squirm on the end of that hook while grab lunch and a few rounds of for honor. back in a few.
Out of the dark
Treacherous arrow brings death.
He will not notice.
Wait, when did the Mantis attack Isawa? I don't remember that at all.
In the earlierst parts of the story, when we first met Naomi's family and learned that Monkey was a jinx.
>Kituski-san frowned.
>On the one hand, we know what really happened to you.
>On the other hand we have no real testimony to support this.
>Monkey spoke up
>wait, wouldn't it be Toshiro and Naomi testifying what they learned with magic?
>That last part is the problem.
>Little different then when we use physical evidence to lead us to the answers.
>oh. Shit.
>Mantis-san slipped out of the room
>Still, in this case there is no testimony to directly tie you to the crime either.
>It depends greatly on the magistrates in question then, but it's not uncommon for the person with the most... apparent guilt to be asked to confess.
>And that would be me
>The outcome can vary greatly depending on the crime in question the status of the individuals involved... the list of considerations goes on for quite some time...
>What do you think will happen then, Kitsuki-sama?
>He hesitated.
>Do not lie to me, please.
>The death of the Mantis delegate is a serious issue. The Phoenix clan must make ammends with either the life of the murderer, or the life of the Lord who failed to protect the dignitary in his care.
>We all know you are not the murderer, but the tool used to commit the crime.
>The Mantis delegation simply will not accept that. Someone must pay for this. That is all there is to it.
>And right now that someone is either a Shiba hohei or the Isawa who rules this castle. Hah.
>Unless you can find the one merchant I bought a charm from a week ago.
>Kitsuki-san nodded.
>Naomi was looking at me
>I could see the tears welling up.
>I had to look away
>This was leaving a foul taste in my mouth.
>Ayame looked up at the ceiling.
>And... even if you did catch him, he's just a merchant. I doubt the Mantis would accept he was the real culprit unless you caught him red handed with maho.
>The pained grimace on Kitsuki-san's face told me she was probably right about that.
>Her shoulders shook a bit
>Will they at least allow me to cleanse my shame?
Nooo she's too cute to sudoku!
>That depends on the judge. For internal matters the highest ranked magistrate or the local lord would fill that role
>For crimes commited by a samurai from one clan to a samurai of another clan, it would require someone who carries the authority of the Emperor.
>Isn't that you?
>Well, it should be Emerald Magistrates, not Jade, as we are.
>Our being appointed to investigate this matter was originally unusual.
>It is also possible for the Lords of both Samurai, or the ones who speak with their voice to agree on a judgment and resolve the matter themselves.
>That is the most likely I think. Shoji will bow to the desires of the Mantis as it is they who are wronged.
>So my fate, whether I can least die with honor or not, is in the hands of the Mantis?
>Kitsuki-san nodded.
>I must have done something truly terrible to deserve this.
>Mantis-san came back in
>He whispered into Kitsuki-san's ear
>Kituski-san looked at Ayame
>A week ago, you said?
>She nodded.
>He stood up
>The rest of us straitened as well
>Hey, what is it?
>I... I do not want to get your hopes up.
>But Mantis-san says the guards report no one leaving the castle in almost two weeks.
>He may still be here after all.
>we headed down to the courtyard
>This castle was a pagoda
>Layer upon layer reaching up, a tall thin tower
>A rectangular wall ran along the outside, creating a long courtyard which contained, among other things housing for the servants and and lower class guests.
>we went to the building where traveling merchants would stay
>rounded up every last one of them
>And brought them all before Shiba Ayame.
>She looked at each in turn, and shook her head
>So, the little bastard realized he was in deep shit and is hiding
>Naomi went to her mother requesting the gates be officially closed until we could find him.
>Her father was apparently going to protest until it pointed out that if he HAD already gotten away that meant that he had done so under the noses Shoji's guards.
>I suggested Kitsuki-san go the Mantis delegation
>He looked taken aback by that
>Well, we are basically saying a merchant, the lowest class of peasant there is, is the one responsible.
>They might need some... extra persuasion on this.
>Y- you're right of course, but Naomi-sama
>is busy dealing with her father. Also, the daughter of the Phoenix lord here.
>It has to be you.
>You want me to go? Or Monkey?
>No. No I see your point.
>he sighed deeply as he took off
>Leaving Me, Mantis-san and Monkey to question the other merchants in the hopes of learning something about their now absent colleague
>Toshiro was busy checking around for tainted things. Some scrap that may help prove Maho was at work and give us the authority to judge this case after all.
>While Toshiro found noting, some of the merchants DID remember a fellow who didn't speak to many others.
>we were even able to get a (very)rough description.
>Now we just had to figure out where in this castle he was hiding
He might be a lowly peasant merchant, but if he has maggots crawling in guts, it would let sleepyhead of the hook, right?
Nah, it won't be that simple. As Kitsuki describes above, it is likely that the fitting punishment is agreed on by the lords of the samurai who were the victim and the criminal. Mantis will milk this case dry for anything they can get, party will have to jump through a lot of hoops so that Sleepy-chan could at least keep her guts with her.
Yup. It's gotta be real definitive Maho for the Mantis to acquiesce, and only then because it would make them look bad if they didn't.
That is debatable, even if it is real bad maho, it was sleepy-chan's blade that pierced her heart.
Being mind controlled is a weakness of the mind and soul.
Allowing herself to be a tool for evil is dishonour on itself that can demand sodoku.
Do western gaijin ever reappear in L5R canon after being banned from the empire like 600 years ago/? If they had gunpowder at that time wouldn't the gaijin be in modern tech levels by now?

Both the age of sail themed nations (Merenae and Thrane) came down with a terrible case of apocalypse and were effectively wiped out. Merenae still exists, but is in shambles and has stagnated tech-wise. Thrane is completely gone.
What sort of apocalypse?
Was it somehow connected to Rokugan plot or it was their own thing?

Magical plague. It was caused by the Senpet (a faction from the spin-off setting Legend of the Burning Sands) as I recall.
In the Sapphire Throne alt-history campaign setting, there was this one named Gaijin courtier NPC from not!Netherlands.
Of course, recent canon has them all wiped out, but new lore sucks ass anyway.
hey, I'm penguin party dude. the game is all over and I'm gonna post in here if OP gives the say so.

as a heads up, we ended when a 100ft tall spider monster waved to us and spoke english with a pet 90ft minotaur, and them being a super friendly teenage girl to boot. we were in the shadowlands, apparently at the nezumi city from way earlier in the lore that got killed when fu leng fell?
>Easier said then done.
>Looking for one peasant in this tall castle...
>He could be hiding anywhere
>moving about as a servant, who no samurai would spare a second glance for
>hidding in an nearly forgeten storeroom while a servant or two he bribed smuggle food to him
>moving about in the space between the floor and ceiling...
>Our first day of hunting ended in failure
>I returned to our rooms to find Kitsuki-san staring at the wall much in the same Monkey had stared when he got the letter informing him of his upcoming marriage.
>I waved a hand in front of his face
>He jumped
>Oh, good.
>What's with that look, anyway?
>I was just thinking
>you looked like you were thinking about your own death poem
>Do you even understand the concept of tact?
>I don't much care for it though.
>But I do understand it, Kitsuki-san.
>I'm not Monkey, after all.
>True enough.
>The others began filing in at this point
>All with disgusted head shakes
>Monkey spoke first
>So, the only good thing we've got going for us right now is that the Naomi-sama got the gates shut.
>Right. Since our maho murder merchant expected to avoid suspicion with his indirect means he's trapped here now.
>Ohhh, nice alliteration Mantis-san!
>Thank you, Monkey
>Toshiro grunted.
>He's figured out we're hunting him now, so I doubt he'll stay in one place and wait for us to find him.
>I nodded.
>This is no Kyuden, but it's still a big castle
>Kituski-san, how did things go with the Mantis?
>Hm? Oh fine, fine.
>He brightened as thought struck him
>In fact, I'd say we may have an in
>The Moshi woman, Aoi?
>She was not the one to take over the delegation but she IS sympathetic.
>She may be able to persuade the chief delegate to accept the guilt of the merchant once we find them.
>So, I was thinking Naomi-sama would be a fine choice to continue the dialogue while I question the servants more closely
>Someone must have seen something, after all
>Naomi smiled at Kitsuki-san's suggestion
>No, thank you
Alright, Dokofu are a thing, yeah. But everything you said after Mountain Spider is making afraid to ask. I think my curiosity is getting the better of me though...
>I have had occasion to speak with Aoi-san several times already.
>You, you have Naomi-sama?
>The rest of exchanged glances.
>There was a conversation happening here that we were not privy to.
>Naomi, care to fill me in?
>Of course, Ishigaki-kun.
>Moshi Aoi is...
>I suppose the polite way to put would be to say she is a 'hopeless romantic'
>You called her a pervert after the first time you spoke to her.
>The others eyes widened.
>Naomi using such strong language to describe someone was the equivalent of another samurai unleashing a string of drunken profanity
>Naomi was well aware of this, and blushed accordingly
>She was so adorable when she blushed, better than a basket full of puppies
>At least to me.
>She fakoughed to reset the mood
>Yes. Well. Anyway.
>If you are having success persuading her, then it is because she has taken a liking to you, is it not, Kitsuki-san?
>We all turned to stare at Kitsuki-san now
>Who was blushing himself
>he was not adorable when he blushed
>Toshiro leaned over and whispered to me
>Does he even like girls? I don't think I've ever seen him oggle one before...
>He whispered it loudly enough for everyone to hear anyway
>Kitsuki-san fired back
>You're one to talk!
>I'm ugly. What's your excuse?
>I couldn't hold it in.
>Neither could Mantis-san or Monkey
>The three of us fell over laughing
>Naomi settled for making the trying not to laugh face
>Kitsuki-san's eyebrow twitched.
>Well done, Toshiro-sama. I can admit that I walked into that one.
>we needed that laugh.
>Shiba Ayame's life, her reputation, her honor, were all resting on our shoulders.
>It was a heavy burden.
>So, Naomi-sama. You suggest that I continue to work on Aoi, because she will be amenable to my suggestions?
>Yes, that is exactly my suggestion
>Truthfully that took me off guard a bit.
>Naomi was openly suggesting Kitsuki-san lead that woman on.
>Unless of course, she was secretly playing matchmaker.
>Yes, that last thought made sense
>Kitsuki gonna end up with Aoi
Knew there was a reason perma-GM had art of her.
>While you are doing that, Kitsuki-san, I believe I can help speed up the process of finding our real killer.
>Water IS the element of clarity, after all.
>I arched an eyebrow.
>Naomi, I though you could only track things and people known to you?
>This is true. But there is something I have not done before I am willing to try now.
>I had sometimes wondered about that.
>prophecy and astrology were very important.
>All things had a destiny, and the Heavens gave clues to those who knew how to read the signs.
>But for every story of a destined hero there were many more about false prophets, tricksters who led the ignorant astray for their own gain, and supposedly wise men who misread signs and became the well intentioned villain.
>Naomi caught my look.
>Yes, it can be quite easy to misread the signs the Kami reveal, that is why I have avoided it.
>It is a testament to your skills as investigators I have not needed to resort to it in all this time.
>The spell I have in mind will allow others to see the visions as well, so I hope that with all of you and Ayame present we will be able to interpret the visions correctly.
>Why don't we do it now then?
>I will need to ask my father's permission.
>I need a body of water for this spell, the larger the better.
>And I wish for Ayame to be present, if we see a vision of the merchant I wish for her to confirm it
>Kitsuki-san spoke up again
>What about Aoi? She is a shugenja, would not this magic help convince her?
>Hmmmm. Perhaps.
>I do not think it could hurt.
>I think I'm going to ask Katusie-sama to speak with the rest of the Mantis then.
>All our diplomats are tied up elsewhere
>Kitsuki-san nodded.
>A good plan. I will ask Amano-san to speak with the Phoenix, and apraise them of the situation.
>And get Shoji to stay out of our way?
>Yes. that too.
>Alright. We had a plan
>I brought the children into our room that night
>I wanted them close by in a castle a maho-tuskai was prowling around in
I dunno about you, but I think a Tuskai sounds cool.
>We gathered togother around the large koi pond in the castle's garden
>Naomi, in a long Kimono with no hakama, entered into the water.
>Ishigaki-kun, please help me with the offering
>When petitioning the kami for their assistance, it was always possible to make offerings to gain their favor by making offerings to them
>Naomi had already purified herself
>Now she was offering the water kami a large urn of sake
>She needed my help getting the thing into the pond
>It was tightly sealed, so it wouldn't leak
>No matter how much I wanted to see a bunch of drunken fish swimming upside down
>I'd also been purified, of course
>She began to pray
>The water shimered, rippled.
>a light came up from underneath the surface
>The pond became still like a sheet of smooth ice, or perhaps that 'glass' the Unicorn brought back from gaijin lands
>We saw images in the water.
>A man, bleeding from his palm onto a charm, then another then another.
>Ayame hissed at the sight of him
>I studied his face intently. Burned it into my mind
>A wakizahshi. The blade was corodded, pitted with rust.
>A boat, pulled up onto a beach somewhere... there were several figures around it. Shadows seemed to cling to them, and they bore weapons.
>The waters cleared, the spell ended.
>Naomi's eyes widened. She swayed a bit
>I caught her
>Kitsuki-san spoke first
>Ayame-san, let me just confirm.
>That man in the first vision, that was the merchant who sold you the charm, yes?
>She nodded. It was
>Aoi nodded.
>Well, I'm convinced.
>But this wont be enough for Yoritomo-sama
>Aoi went over to Ayame.
>For what it is worth, I am truly sorry for the loss of your beloved Senpai.
>She bowed
>But I know Yoritomo-sama will not this go so easily. He will insist that it was some weakness of spirit on your part that made you vulnerable to the maho in the first place.
>I know that isn't true, but...
>I was reminded of why I hated politics.
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Last one for the evening. Good night.
>>No matter how much I wanted to see a bunch of drunken fish swimming upside down
I literally laughed out loud. God dammit.
Good night, Crab-anon. And again, thanks for the storytime.
Page nine question mark
Shameful display samurai
We can do better
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252 pages. Haven't made progress on the editing, so the final version will be less than that.
Bump bump bump bump bump
Bump bump bump bump bump bump bump
It's cheap, but it work
bump to keep it going til tomorrow
>252 pages
Jesus christ. What's the font size btw?
Standard 11, Arial. What google docs usually uses.

I tried to load a more fitting font from the google font library and it crashed my browser. I don't think it handles gigantic documents all that well.
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Bümp it up a bit!
Now that the game is over, what do you usually play?

We've been bouncing between a bunch of different games lately, haven't really settled on anything long term. Currently I'm running WHFRP 3rd edition and they're all playing dwarves.

Before that, we've played some Pathfinder, In Nomine, Fading Suns, Deadlands, Anima, Edge of the Empire/Age of Rebellion/Force & Destiny, Mage: the Awakening, and A Song of Ice & Fire.

The thing is, if someone is out of town for the week, the other guys go "Let's play a little _______!" Then they tell whoever was missing about it, they go "That's awesome, let me make a character!" and we end up jumping games again.
That sounds based.
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>pic related helps out the group when you're in a tight spot against ogres
>says it looked like you needed a bit of help
>thank him?
>"Sorry, but we already have an ambiguously-gendered Tsuruchi in our group. No offence."
Do you know for sure if they're man or woman? Or do they not say?
We know it's a she for ours, but an ambiguous gender is still an ambiguous gender.
Traps lie in wait
Full of uncertain gender.
Fucking disgusting.
In times of combat,
Sword skill decides. In marriage,
Parents. So why care?
Those throwing their child
Into insidious traps,
Commit sudoku!
They can sudoku,
Or check four times beforehand.
Guess what they will choose.
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The answer is "no". If our sohei rape-party was in a tight spot against ogres then there were something like a whole army of them, so this dude most likely just tripped one and it supposedly counts as help.

The effort is appreciated, but otherwise, GTFO. We have an Order of the Spider to exterminate, and that Kokujin dude won't kill himself (not to mention that annoying-as-fuck Michio).
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Lo! There is a Trap
Defend Lord Nobunaga
it's a real person

Also, TMJ pains suck.
Anyway, on with the story.
>Alright then. We have confirmed the merchant placed some sort of spell on the charm he sold Ayame-san
>Why did we see him doing that to a bunch of charms?
>Mantis-san answered
>Because he has done this before, Monkey.
>The whole reason he's in the spot he's in now is because we're probably the first to look beyond the person he cursed.
>Monkey scratched at one of his sideburns
>Whoa. You mean there's a bunch of Samurai who were executed as murdered because of him?
>Mantis-san nodded, mouth pursed in a grimace
>Toshiro spoke up
>The second image. What do you think that was about?
>Wasn't that just showing the murder weapon?
>No, I don't think so. Divinations are rarely literal.
>Naomi, still pressing into my chest mumbled something
>I spoke up for her
>She says that the Kami were quite pleased with her and her offerings, so they were much clearer than usual.
>Kitsuki-san snapped his fan closed.
>I see. He is no merchant at all then.
>Monkey blinked.
>Mantis-san was just as confused, though more eloquent about it.
>Mind sharing how you arrived at that conclusion?
>We saw his hands in the first image quite clearly. His nails were trimmed. Clean. Immaculate even.
>Kitsuki-san held out his hand and looked at his own nails
>Unconsciously we all did the same
>Oh. Okay.
>And the short blade holds the honor of a samurai. It is the one used should...ah.
>He trailed off, realizing he had hit a tender subject.
>Ayame finished for him
>A samurai who must commit seppuku uses his wakizashi. It's why even shugenja and courtiers wear one, and why the wakizashi is even more important to mark a samurai's status than their katana.
>She said all that without so much as a tremor in her voice.
>I wasn't sure if it was resolute bravery or hope that gave her strength now.
>Kistuki-san nodded.
>Just so.
>And the wakizashi we saw was tarnished, corroded. Just like the honor of it's owner that it represented.
Crab returns!
>And just like that, between Naomi's magic and Kitsuki-san's sharp eyes I wondered if there would ever come a mystery we could not solve
>The third one? Are the Mantis going to attack again over this?
>Aoi shook her head emphatically
>Even I couldn't help but notice the sharp motions caused certain parts of her to move in interesting ways
>I held Naomi a little tighter
>I may not be our highest ranking courtier, but I'm important enough that I would know if that were the plan!
>Toshiro nodded.
>An escape plan then.
>He may work alone, but he must have allies nearby.
>The real question is are they hired thugs, or...
>Mixed company. So he couldn't say it.
>But we knew he was referring to THEM.
>This definietly fit their MO.
>Already there was high ranking Yoritomo courtier dead, Shoji could very well be next, and if this incident caused the talks to fail then the war would likely provide much chaos for them to move about in.
>I wondered if Hohiro knew, if this was his plan...
>Shoji was his ally, wasn't he?
>Then again, even when Shoji had been talking Hohiro up last year, Shoji had still insisted HE was the better of the two.
>And he tried to take all the credit for his son's talent.
>It wouldn't surprise me if Shoji had been trying to sit on the council by proxy, giving Hohiro orders.
>It wasn't all that uncommon for a parent to retire, shave their head, change their name, and then continue to administer their lands by remaining on as an 'advisor' to their heirs.
>More than a few temples in the Empire were run by a politically minded abbot who was a retired samurai.
>And, while Oka-san had confirmed Hohiro himself wouldn't really stand to gain from inheriting this castle, as it's lord he could always appoint a new Karo.
>Assuming the old Karo was not already in his pocket, of course.
>So, is the boat literal, or figurative do you think?
>I spoke up.
>Does it matter, one way or the other?
>He has to get out of the castle first.
>And now we know the reason we couldn't find him is because we were looking in the wrong places.
>He wasn't hiding among the servants and crawlspaces, he was mingling with the Samurai guests.
>Slow nods.
>everyone began to head back inside.
>As I moved to go, carrying Naomi if I had to, she stopped me
>Wait, Ishigaki-kun,
>what, enjoying the koi nibbling at your toes?
>At least, I assmued the must be nibbling her toes. They were certainly nibbling on mine.
>I suspected it would be bad manners to snatch one of your hosts fish out of their pond and eat it as a warning to the others that you were higher on the food chain.
>Naomi giggled.
>No it is not the fish.
>I want to tell you something.
>D-did she notice me noticing Aoi?
>The water kami like many things. Motion, helping to create a new flow of water, sake of course, purity.
>You can temporarily sacrifice one of your senses to them
>And they are also pleased by ensuring and promoting the cycle of life.
>You cannot lie to the kami, of course.
>They knew I was not making an offering in that way. How could I, when I did not even know myself?
>Know what?
>The cycle of life.
>Life, Ishigaki-kun.
>We have been rather, active, lately, have we not?
>It was good thing I had some practice hearing news this wonderfull.
>I might have sat down and drowned in the koi pond otherwise.
>My ancestors would have laughed me out of Yomi, had I done that.
>So, you didn't know yet? Then it's early?
>Very. A few weeks at most.
>I tried to guess when, but like Naomi had said we had been a bit active lately.
>She smiled up at me, already glowing.
>Cary me
>With pleasure.
>I scooped her up like the princess she was and took her up to our room so we could dry off.
>Kistuki-san was already putting his detailed painting skills to good use, recreating the face of our quarry.
>The plan was to have Mantis-san, Monkey and Toshiro, and Naomi show this to the gaurds while he and I engaged in some politicking
>I was never fond of the idea of Naomi being near a fight, now I was adamant she not be.
>The others were confused by it, until Kitsuki-san noticed Naomi's expresion.
>What, when?
>This only made the others more confused.
>When what? What what? huh?
>Naomi explained what she had just learned
>Four faces gave us incredulous stares
>Is there Hare Clan blood in your ancestry or something?!
>Not that I know off? Naomi?
>Okay then. Anyway, I've got work to do. Ja nee.
>Then I went to see Katusie-sama.
>I laid out what we had learned, though could not yet prove until we caught the maho-tsukai
>I also let him know what the others were doing.
>To be clear, do you wish for me to persuade the Mantis that the killer has been found so that they do not push for as many concessions from the Phoenix, or to divert all blame from Shiba Ayame-san?
>I blinked
>I do not know if that will be possible.
>he noticed my surpise.
>Do not misunderstand me. I have no desire to see a young life discarded before it has a chance to bloom fully either.
>He poured us both some tea
>It tasted like home
>These tea leaves were grown by our clan weren't they?
>Yes. In fact they came from my own feilds.
>Ishigaki-san. We both know that the young woman is not really at fault here.
>Yet the Code of Bushido is very strict.
>It does not make allowance for circumstance, which is why no one can truly live up to it.
>Some people, upon realizing this, choose a few tenants to hold up over others.
>Our clan does this
>Others become jaded. They allow themselves to compromise their honor at times.
>Only the rare few will continue to chase impossible perfection.
>I understand what you are saying, Katsuie-sama but I don't see how it relates...
>We are sometimes quick to forgive lapses in judgment and matters of honor because we all know we will have them ourselves one day.
>But while we understand, and can forgive, Bushido cannot.
>She was still an accomplice to this crime, unknowing or not.
>I wonder then, how her Lord Shoji will react to this.
>Oh, I could guess. Cover his own ass by making her take all the blame
>I see you already suspect you know.
>For that matter, have you even though to ask Ayame-san what she will do?
>I looked up sharply.
>It simply hadn't occured to me, to any of us, that she might feel such shame as to go that far of her own volition.
>I think then, before I make any wasted effort, you had best be certain of her own intentions.
>I bowed, thanking Katsuie for his insight, and ran off to the room Ayame was being held in
>As I entered she looked up from the paper she was frowning over.
>Ishigaki-san? What are you doing here?
>I mean, I KNEW what I was doing here
>But 'don't kill yourself you have so much to live for' wasn't really a good conversation starter.
>Ayame saw me struggling to find the right words
>Oh. You're here about that.
>Ishigaki-san. Is it not disonrable to be dupped into commiting a crime?
>well, yes but
>And is it not worse the more sever the crime one commits?
>yes but
>No, there are no buts in Bushido
>Would you SHUT UP and listen to me goddamnit!
>She blinked
>I sat down in front of her, and told her I just found out I was going to have a child. For the third time
>She smilled,
>That is wonderfull news!
>Yeah it is.
>It wasn't really all that long ago, but it seems like forever, that I was like you.
>I thought if I could just help kill a few oni, then that was all I needed to make my life mater, and I could die proud of myself.
>I don't think like that anymore.
>No, I'm not afraid to die, should my time come.
>And I didn't think I was eager to die at the time, but I now know that's exactly what I was.
Please save Sleepy-chan, Ishigaki-dono.
>Just a quick flash? A spark popping from a fire and fading away in an instant?
>That's bullshit!
>Chasing your own demise is a terrible way to live!
>I have a family, and I have a duty.
>If I die, who stands between them and the thing that killed me? Huh?
>You're a Shiba, you should think about these things!
>I would, if I were a Yojimbo.
>But I am a soldier. I am part of the rank and file of our armies.
>I do not protect one Isawa, I protect all of them.
>Our entire Clan, in fact.
>And soldiers die. I would be nothing but a coward if I ran from that fact.
>Ishigaki-san, I'm happy that you think my life has such value, really.
>And I'm happy that you have such important things to protect you cannot simply give up your life so easily.
>But this is not just a matter of my own dishonor.
>What the polotics? Who cares...
>I care.
>My clan must make concessions to the Mantis to avoid a war.
>The death of their delegate means they WILL ask for more. All the persuasion in the world will not change that fact.
>The courtiers will do what is best for their clan, that is all.
>My life could be one of the things offered up.
>To sacrifice all in the name of one's clan, is there anything MORE honorable than that?
>My Lord Shoji outranks me. He is more important to our clan than I am.
>To sacrifice all to protect ones Lord, is that not also at the height of honor?
>Her arguments were sound. I couldn't contradict anything she had said.
>This was how a proper samurai should think
>That I didn't only meant I was actually a terrible samurai.
>But I knew that already. Duty and Courage were the only tenants of Bushido I cared about.
>Duty above all, and the Courage to throw away even my own honor to fulfill that duty.
>But I was a Crab. Ayame was not.
>Still though...
>You're absolutely certain it's just your Honor that's making this decision?
>She looked me in the eyes, then looked down.
>You have somone you love and must protect.
>The one I love has already gone on ahead.
>She looked at her painting, the darkness closing in
>Would you not have embraced death if the one you love were gone?
>I was about to say no.
>instead, my hand rose of it's own accord to the scar on my face.
>I had lost a part of myself, when Ishigaki Mura died.
>Naomi helped me to find that part again.
>Without her love, I may well have ended up a dead-eyes
>When it happened the first time, I did.
>She looked surprised.
>I told her how it came to be that I had no family outside Naomi and our children
>I did then what you are doing now.
>And that is exactly why I can tell you this:
>What you are doing is WRONG
>You claim you do this for the sake of your honor, and your clan
>Your so full of shit your eyes are turning brown.
>Her surprise turned to anger at that.
>You're only doing this because you regret what might have been, and your hiding your sin behind pretty words.
>You think your ancestors won't know the truth?
>You think honor can come from an action taken in the name of one of the Three Great Sins?!
>You may be a good enough liar to fool yourself, but you can't fool me, and you sure as hell won't fool them.
>Her anger had faded in the face of my tirade, slowly replaced with shame.
>I stood up
>One last thing you should know.
>My wife is very compassionate. If you kill yourself, she'll cry.
>I'm not trying to guilt you or anything, so don't misunderstand.
>I'm just letting you know, if you do make my wife cry, I will find you and beat the shit out of your for it.
>I don't care if I have to make a Kitsu take me into the spirit realms. I don't care if I have to until you are reborn. I don't care if I have to wait until I am reborn.
>However long it takes, you'll pay for making Naomi cry. Got it?
>She nodded.
>I left.
>They say that bonds can travel into the next life, even beyond.
>Considering how strong our bond, Naomi and I may very well have been lovers in past lives.
>I was certain that at the very least, we would find one another again in our next lives.
>This wasn't limited to good bonds
>Bonds of malice could go with you as well.
>I was equally certain I would hate Shoji on sight in my next life, and not know why.
>Maybe such a thing was the source of my distaste for the Mantis, tough my friendship with Mantis-san had done much to dispel those feelings.
>hah. Everything happens for a reason, they say.
>Still, would making Naomi cry really be enough to lead to my future lives hunting down and beating the shit out of Ayame's future lives?
>I doubted it, myself.
>But the Phoenix were big on rebirth after all.
>So I hopped that at least, Ayame did.
>I went back to speak with Katsuie-sama
>when I was done relating what had happened he sipped his tea with wide eyes
>It is amazing, what wonders one will see if they just live long enough.
>To think such wisdom could be spoken in such a crude way.
>He chuckled.
>You MAY have gone a bit overboard at the end there, I think.
>yeah, you're probably right, Katsuie-sama.
>But I was rather pissed off.
>We both took a sip of tea.
>And yet, you have not really answered my question.
>Saving her takes priority. Amano is working to save her from Shoji, I'll save her from her own regret. You save her from the Mantis.
>Um. Please, Katusie-sama.
>He chuckled again.
>It is a good thing we are alone, Ishigaki-san.
>Please try to get a better grip on your emotions. There will no doubt be a fight when you catch the Tsukai, and it wouuldn't do for your spirit to be so disturbed when you enter battle.
>You're right, thank you Katsuie-sama.
>I left
>Time to check in with the others.
Well, if I've done that last part right you should all be quite worked up now. Seems a good time to take a break. I think I started announcing every break because some anons implied their F5 keys were being sorely abused
Now I can finally go to sleep
Thank you Ishigaki-san.

I await the next installment with bated breath.
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Page 8? what the fuck
No good with the poetry
bump with crab traps then
Not being on the front page
Brings me great shame
Ah, the first Haikuanon
Glad to see others
Echoing his work.
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Bumping for Crab
So shall I send you the bill for the 3 F5 keys I've gone through for this story?
>tfw all my L5R campaigns collapsed
>tfw two year drought

I live vicariously through L5R storytimes and never wish my own misfortune on fellow L5R players.
>They had gathered up several of the Shiba to aid them.
>Kitsuki-san's plan was simple.
>Check each floor, room by room. Starting from the bottom and working our way up.
>Our last search was haphazard because we had no idea what he looked like.
>We tried to be subtle, so he would not go to ground and evade us entirely.
>Now we know his face.
>We will catch him, for certain.
>Since we were going to be loud about this, I went back to my room to grab my Katana and tetsubo.
>Naomi was there with the little ones.
>And Oka-san and Ashitaka-san
>There were bowls of water placed all around the room
>I nodded in approval.
>I'll leave them in your care then.
>Oka-san glanced at my armor on it's stand
>Do you not have time...?
>We are moving now.
>Ishigaki-kun will be fine mother.
>Daiko and Tetuste were too young to grasp what was going on, but they could sense the tension in the adults. Ashitaka knew all to well.
>Still, my children did their best to be brave. Looking up at me with wide, serious eyes.
>I knelt to tousle their hair.
>I have to leave for a bit, but I promise:Daddy will always come back home.
>Naomi nodded.
>I gave her a smile, pretending to be fooled by her brave face.
>And left.
>Kitsuki-san had memorized the floor plans of the entire castle.
>We searched in a patern that would force the Tsukai to go past us, if he tried to flee.
>When we moved on to the second floor we had to leave three Shiba at the stairway, in case he came down from above while we were deeper in the second floor.
>We did the same when we got to the third floor.
>That's where we found him
>His eyes widened as he noticed us
>we were all armed, with three armed and armored Shiba.
>Kitsuki-san leveled his fan to make his accusation
>But the Tsukai was faster.
>With a speed born of desperation, he drew his wakizashi and cut his hand in one motion
>the world became a blood red haze
>What the hell?
>Damn, I can't see anything!
>Calm down!
>I gripped my tetsubo in a defensive stance, ready to ward off attack from any angle
>I tried to block out the shouting, and the screams of confused courtiers
>I heard the Tuskai, chanting another prayer
>I took a few faltering steps in his direction, but I still couldn't see anything
>Does anyone know where he is? Mantis-san?
>The tsukai had stopped chanting
>Yeah, think I do, Kitsuki-san
>Good, where is he?
>Oh, before you answer that there's one other thing I want to know.
>Did Naomi tell you I had my way with her the other day? I think your new child might be mine.
>I had no idea why that slimy Dragon had to pick this particular moment to commit seppuku, but I would be more than happy to help do it.
>As I pulled back my tetsubo some small part of me realized that was wrong.
>The maho spell was still interfering with my vision. Blind as I was I had no hope of hitting that damn Kitsuki.
>So I tossed my tetsubo aside.
>If I could just get my hands on him, he wouldn't be able to get away
>I lunged for where I had last heard his voice
>Caught something. A Haori, it felt like
>the Dragon let out a surprised cry as I seized him, confirming for me I had my hands on the right one.
>I have no idea why he sounded so surpised. What did he think was going to happen, saying something like that to me?
>His cry cut off as my hands found his throat and squeezed.
>I heard some of the others ask him what was wrong, but that didn't matter.
>Hands pulled at me, but that didn't matter
>What mattered was killing this bastard
>My thumbs slid up his face, I was going to pop his eyes.
>sp... damn...
>Oh right... there WAS a Maho Tsukai around, wasn't there...?
>The others were all worried about me killing the dragon. Fools.
>Shit, if he got away he might hurt Naomi.
>Goddamnit you fools go after the Tuskai!
>I threw the dragon away so they'd listen.
>I could finish once they left
>Instead I heard Toshiro chanting
>the hell is doing?
>he sounded rushed, that's for sure.
>Damnit, the Dragon can't wait.
>It was still dark, but he was couging and sucking in air pretty loudly.
>I knocked someone over heading towards him
>and then I felt calm.
>It was strange. I really could not say why I had been so upset.
>Yes, Kitsuki-san had done something horrible. I was going to have to make him pay somehow.
>But loosing myself to rage and murdering him here and now was not the best way to go about it.
>Ah, the mist was finally clearing up.
>I looked around.
>Kitsuki-san was on the floor, a few feet from me.
>His face was quite purple
>All around were a sea of shocked faces.
>And a heavy weight on my shoulders
>I glanced back.
>there was a Monkey on my back.
>How long will he stay like that?
>Mantis-san asked Toshiro
>Hopefully long enough the Maho spell wears off.
>Who are you talking about Toshiro?
>We really should go after that Tsukai, I think. Do you not agree?
>I helped Kitsuki-san up.
>You wear your katana. Good.
>I will write a formal letter of challenge to your lord when I get the chance.
>he stared at me in disbelief
>Monkey's voice came out from behind and above me
>Okay, Toshiro-sama? Don't ever cast that spell on him again.
>emotionless Ishigaki-san is way scarier than frothing at the mouth murderous Ishigaki-san
>I wiped at my mouth. I really had been frothing.
>How unsightly.
>the others rushed outside, even Monkey once he climbed off of me
>I felt no need to do so, however
>as I aravied I saw the Shiba we had left gaurding the stairs picking themselves up off the ground shakily
>He cut himself, then I felt such pain!
>I am very sorry, Kuni-sama!
>Toshiro waved it away, and everyone began to rush downstairs
>I kept pace with Toshiro.
>No need to rush, after all.
>He looked at me.
>The expression on his face was very odd
>I nodded to the others
>They are just wearing themselves out needlessly.
>Such impatience.
>...and this is why I don't like to use that spell.
>Hmm? What is the mater, Toshiro?
>he looked up, with just his eyes.
>Nothing, Ishigaki-san. Nothing at all.
>Would you mind letting me on your back? My foot is making these stairs a pain in the ass.
>Of course not, Toshiro. We have been friends for a long time.
>I got down few steps below him and he hopped on me.
>I could sense his impatience, so I decided I would make haste, after all.
>I still thought it unnecessary. But I would do so for my friend
>The courtyard was in quite the uproar, many people being far to upset
>Mantis-san saw me and yelled
>Get over here! What the hell is wrong with you!
>Nothing. We had many gaurds at the gates, did they fail to stop the Tsukai?
>he pointed
>Bushells of rice had been stacked up along the edge of the wall, making a staircase
>How did he do that in such a short time?
>He didn't!
>I saw a Shiba slaming his head into the dirt over and over again in front of Kitsuki-san.
>Oh. So someone else stacked them up for him, and none of the guards who saw the rice bales found them suspicious.
>Kitsuki-san joined us
>We will have to peruse. The Shiba will fan out and search, we will try to follow his tracks
>We must make haste.
>He looked at me.
>H. A. S. T. E. Do you understand, Ishigaki-san?
>yes, I do. I am not stupid.
>I just do not see the point.
>Was not the spell Naomi cast a divination?
>I know the Kami explained to us who we were chasing, but did they not predict we would face them at the boat?
>The others exchanged wide eyed glances.
>Surely, they were not surprised?
>Mantis-san pinched the bridge of his nose.
>How long did you say he was going to be like this?
>An hour.
>I could cast it on you too, if your that upset
>No thanks.
>Just blast that Tsukai before he can something like that again.
>Let's go
>Ishigaki-san, keep carrying Toshiro, we still have to catch them.
>It was a lovely winters day.
>the fresh tracks in the snow made it quite easy to follow him.
>I rather enjoyed the sound of it crunching under our feet
>Damn. We didn't even think about how easy it would be to follow him
>We sent the Shiba to scout around ahead of us though. In the hopes that find his acomplices or even just cut him off.
>yeah. Still a few more bodies would be welcome.
>Mantis-san was likely worried becase he had not had time to don his full armor.
>Monkey did not have much armor to begin with
>I would have to rely on my teachings to protect me from harm.
>Well, I wold be fine, I'm sure.
>You said the Maho-Tsukai cast a spell on me, didn't you?
>Yeah he did
>Do you have any idea what it did?
>It made you mad with rage, don't you remember trying to kill Kitsuki-san?
>I do. Mad, you say
>So then, none of the rest of you heard him confess to assaulting Naomi and suggesting our child was in fact his?
>Everyone stopped dead in their tracks and turned to look at me
>No, Ishigaki. He did not say that
>Well then, I am very sorry Kitsuki-san. I will NOT be writing a letter of challenge to your lord.
>I would bow, but that might be rough for Toshiro. Could you wait a bit for that?
>Do- don't worry about it Ishigaki-san
>You were the target of Maho, we were simply unprepared for it. As much my fault as yours.\
>That is certainly true. Well, I am glad we could put that behind us
>We neared the beech
>It was still early in the winter and the sea had not yet frozen over
>We saw them, working to knock chunks of ice off of their boat
>You see? I told you we did not have to rush.
>Those were what were known as 'Angry Glares.' I was certain of it.
>Set me down, Ishigaki.
>Very well.
>Only then did I realize I had not bothered to retrieve my tetsubo after I threw it down.
>So I readied my katana, instead.
>Toshiro glanced at me.
>and pulled out a scroll.
>A tetsubo, formed from the earth and studed with jade, arose before me.
>Oh, thank you.
>I am much better with this than I am a Katana
>They had not yet notticed us
>Mantis-san asked
>How do we want to do this?
>Toshiro answered him
>By throwing a great ball of flame at them.
>It burst among them, and set their boats on fire
>I vote we scare the shit out them by killing a few before they know we're here.
>Well, what are staring at me for? Get down there and kill those bastards!
>Hai, Toshiro-sama!
>magical weapon in hand, I lead the charge
>The thugs, expecting to flee by boat were lightly armored
>There was a astounding asortment of weapons though.
>masakari, Katana, No-dachi, Nagamiki, Yari. One had a Kasuri-gama.
>I settled for striking down any that came to close. In time, they would all be dead anyway.
>My earthen tetsubo shattered bones, pulped organs, and tore great chunks of flesh with it's jade studs.
>I was struck form behind by a No-dachi, but thanks to my training it failed to bite deeply.
>Monky was kind enough to remove that thugs head for me.
>I caught sight of the tuskai. So did Mantis-san.
>Another blast of flame tossed aside a few thugs, clearing a path for him
>He moved in, and quickly sliced his kama through the legs of the Tsukai.
>Oop, here comes some more for me.
>I caught the swing of the nagamaki on the length of my tetsusbo, and shoved forcefully.
>Then I struck while the thug was getting back into position.

Dammit, this autistic Ishigaki is just... wrong.
>I felt and heard his hip shater as my blow took him the side
>he crumpled, bawling like a child.
>it was distracting, so I crushed his skull with another quick swing
>Kitsuki-san and Monkey were fighting back to back, cutting down their foes.
>Mantis-san brought his kama down on the tsukai before he could rise.
>The tsukai twitched once, then was still
>Meanwhile, a space had opened up around me.
>Everywhere I cared to turn, thugs that had been inching toward me backpedaled.
>It was then the Kasuri-gama came at my head
>I held my tetsubo out, and the chain wrapped around it's head and went taut
>The weilder tried to pull the weapon from my hands.
>I jerked back.
>he lost
>He had the good sense to simply release the weapon before I pulled him off his feet.
>Then, as I was unwrapping my tetsubo, several thugs rushed at me.
>I had been expecting that.
>None of their attacks we able to reach me
>Monkey and Kitsuki-san cut them down.
>One last blast of flame, and it was over.
>I think Toshiro killed more than all the rest of us combined.
>I walked over to where the Tuskai lay in pool of blood.
>he was quite dead.
>Kitsuki-san came up beside me.
>Mantis-san, in the future could you try to pull your blows when attacking someone who may have valuable information?
>I DID damnit!
>He just used up too much blood working all his spells...
>Kitsuki-san sighed
>well, this was far from the smooth operation I had anticipated, but we were successful nonetheless.
>he used Maho in full view of many witnesses after all.
>Mantis-san produced a bag. The shape of it said told me it was for a very specific thing.
>He took out some special laqured chopsticks
>used them to grab the tsukai's topknot
>lifted his head
>And cut if off.
>The used the chopsticks to place it in his bag.
>Should I get you a board so you can mount your trophy properly?
>It's just to show that we got him.
>We returned to the Castle
Seconded. I think I liked mad with rage Ishigaki better, if Only he went after the enemies...
wow, I just looked at my clock. Once I'm done washing the blanket my cat just puked on I'm going to get some sleep. Tune in tommorow to find out the final fate of Shiba (sleepy head-chan) Ayame.
Might get all the way through winter court, we'll see.
I think Tuskai specifically made the spell to make Ishigaki target his allies.
So is it Katsuie or Katusie? You flip the spelling pretty frequently.
It's almost surely Katsuie since that is a real Japanese name.
Good thing Ishigaki didn't have time to go full Mountain on Kitsuki here. Because he probably could.
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One in Westeross
But thousands in Rokugan
Suck it, George Martin
Bloody toll carried
Inside a plain bag. Maho
is never worth it.
Can't bloody well sleep
tales of autism crab stir
Keks most glorious
>As we walked Kitsuki-san spoke up
>Well, at least he used blood magic in front of all those witnesses.
>It now means this case falls under the mandate of the Jade Magistrates.
>Ah, that was good then.
>It meant that Toshiro or Naomi would be the final authority on the outcome of this matter.
>Their word would carry the full weight of Imperial Law, and none present would be able to gainsay them.
>In his current state, the Tsukai would not be able to give a proper confession, so the testimony of the witnesses would be needed to confirm Maho, and thus our authority.
>While our testimony alone would have carried great weight, the other witnesses assured not even Shoji would be able to object
>hmm. Shoji.
>Yes, I still did not like him
>He was far to flawed and emotional. Easily provoked, if one knew where to press.
>We arrived
>Mantis-san handed off the tsukai's head to an eta and a board was brought forth to display it on.
>we went and got purified while the Shiba requested the presence of Shoji, the Mantis delegates, and those who were in the room when the tuskai cast his spell
>I was going to go fetch my wife, but Monkey ran off yelling he would so instead.
>Always rushing about. People really did need to take the time to enjoy things more.
>Prayers were said, and water poured upon me.
>It was very cold. Refreshing even.
>Then some salt was thrown.
>I took a moment to appreciate the complexity of that part.
>There was a correct way to do it, just as there was a correct way to do everything.
>Yet the correct way was to make it seem there was no correct way.
>It must be difficult, to be so deliberately sloppy.
>It made me wonder about the way Toshiro threw salt. It looked even more sloppy when he did it.
>Was his technique better, or worse, then these priests?
>Mantis-san tugged on me
>Oh yes, we had to go and announce our verdict.
>As I entered the courtyard the Mantis delegates were just arriving
>Shoji, the witnesses, and Ayame were already there.
>Somone had created an improtu courtroom.
>really it was just a patch of white sand, and an officers chair in place of the dias upon which the judge would sit
>Ayame was kneeling on the white sand
>She was wearing a white kimono
>Shoji was sitting on the chair
>So, he thought he was going to be passing judgment on Ayame.
>The others exchanged glances. He was moving to quickly, making assumptions as he went.
>How typical of him.
>The Mantis Delegates took their place
>The Karo stepped forward and unrolled a scroll
>But Naomi cut him off.
>Wait. This matter is no longer for Shoji to judge.
>Kitsuki-san pointed to courtier at random
>Come forth please
>The Courtier did. A golden haired Kitsu, by the mon on his Kimono.
>At a gestrue from Toshiro the eta brought out the head board
>This man here, did you see him work magic today?
>I did.
>Can you describe what you saw?
>Hai. He took out his wakizahi, cut his palm and bleed. He spoke blasphemous prayers. Then the room was plunged into a blood red mist
>Thank you.
>You, please.
>The Soshi woman who asked me about Dot Battle
>I would ask the same questions of you.
>She nodded. Yes, I saw the same thing as the honorable Lion. He worked blood magic.
>Kitsuki-san looked around.
>There are many courtiers here, shall I continue to go through them one by one, Shoji-sama?
>Shoji looked upset by this turn of events.
>That will not be necessary.
>He stood up from the chair and joined the audience
>Toshiro sat down. Naomi was Shoji's daughter, so Toshiro was the better choice for the appearance of impartiality.
>Toshiro motioned for the Karo to proceed, but the Karo waited until Shoji nodded to do so
>He then read the scroll.
>It was Ayame's confession.
>Mantis-san whispered beside me
>that bastard didn't waste any time did he?
>Trying to wrap this all up his own the second we were out of his hair.
Oh shit. Sleepy-chan!..
Fucking Shoji.
Sleepy-chan no!
Oh shit Ayame!
>I did not nod in agreement.
>Though Mantis-san's assessment of the situation was accurate, it was just rude to speak out loud during formal proceedings like this.
>The confession was quite damning. Ayame admited her love for her slain Senpai, her desire for revenge. She made no mention of her dreams, or the charm.
>She was adamant however, that she acted alone, deceiving her fellow Shiba to get close enough to kill Yoritomo Yohko.
>The new head of the Mantis delegation nodded, though slowly
>Very well then. I have no choice but to accept that this woman acted alone, however...
>Toshiro held up his hand, forestalling any further comment
>I've got questions I must ask before I render judgment. So hold on.
>Shoji erupted
>What could you possibly need to know? She has confessed to everything!
>Toshiro ignored him
>Shiba Ayame
>You didn't mention this in your confession, but you said that you were having nightmares lately, is that right?
>And did you do something about that?
>I... I bought a charm to help me sleep better.
>From who?
>She looked down.
>Then at Shoji
>Don't look at him. I'M the one asking you questions here.
>Who did you buy the charm from?
>That man there.
>She pointed to the headboard
>Hida Naomi-san, you confirmed that the charm had maho cast upon it?
>I did.
>Both Shoji and the Yoritomo seemed to be getting more and more agitated as this went on.
>So in reality, you are wrong Shiba Ayame.
>A chorus of shouts broke out. Shoji, the Yoritomo and Ayame all protested.
>NO! I did it, I killed her!
>Are you saying the Phoenix bear no blame for this incident at all? This is absurd! That one is the daughter of the Lord, she is clearly lying on her fathers behalf!
>Cease this charade, that woman has disgraced the Clan!
>Toshiro stood abruptly, knocking the chair back.
>Maho was used by that man
>He pointed
>to kill Yoritomo Yohko.
>The Maho in question effected the mind of Shiba Ayame.
It's good to be a crab
Dammit Shoji, how much of a cunt can you be?
I see Ishigaki failed the Intimidation roll when talking with Ayame.
Or Shoji succeded his. With a raise.
Toshiro's face when
Something tells me Toshiro's about to pull a "when a man commits murder, we do not punish the sword."
>This means her fate is MINE to decide. I have the authority here, NOT ANY OF YOU
>Toshiro glared as protests died.
>The Yoritomo tried again
>She still despised our Clan, it was her own weakness that allowed the spell to effect her in the first place!
>Toshiro laughed.
>I hope you have a good champion then.
>I personally witnessed the Tsukai cast a spell on him.
>Toshiro pointed to me
>And I know now what that spell did.
>It altered his perception so drastically he tried to kill someone who has been his friend and companion for several years.
>The Yoritomo looked quite surprised by that.
>H-how do you know that was the same spell as was used on her?
>It is my business to know such things. I am a Jade Magistrate. Try to keep up; I hate having to state the obvious.
>The Mantis looked at me.
>I smiled politely at him
>I want you to know, I do not feel very upset.
>All the same, I must ask you to withdraw your comment about my weakness.
>He looked at me
>I looked back.
>Sweat began to form on his brow.
>Are you feeling well, Yoritomo-sama? It is winter, yet you are sweating.
>He sputered a bit.
>Oh dear, I think he believes I was insulting him.
>Oh no! Please do not misunderstand me! I am only concerned for your health!
>I have no doubt your position places great strain on you, Yoritomo-sama!
>Perhaps you should get some more rest?
>I noticed that several of Crane were staring at me as well.
>Not just the courtiers, but the Yojimbo as well.
>One was frowning intently, with his eyes narrowed. His mon told me he was a Kakita
>However, they dropped their gazes when I looked at them
>The Yoritomo took note of this as well.
>He looked back at his fellow Mantis.
>Then he bowed to me
>I must aplogize. I had no idea that Maho could be so... potent
>I waved it away.
>It is no great surprise. Such knowledge is dirty, and should only be studied by those who must know these things to fulfill their duty.
>He sat back down heavily.
>Toshiro nodded
I suppose this is where winning the sumo tournament came in handy.
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>mfw Toshiro BTFOd those idiots
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https://youtu.be/Y3R8tkvlAlk Thread's official theme music right now.
Yeah, pretty much
OK, am I missing anything here?

I can see her overly calm Ishigaki made a fool of the mantis unintentionally with his very polite, calm statements. But I feel like I'm missing a bit more in universe reasoning as to why it had such a big impact on everyone else.
Trying to kill a friend who you have never really borne any ill will is still some seriously potent shit.
I think that Ishigaki was threatening dueling/fighting anyone who would 'insult' him and say that he's weak.
I think he's also, with zero bluster, admitting that it happened to him but denying it to be real weakness on his part- as in, "if you want to maintain that this was a failing of character, you're going to be saying fighting words to *me*."
>If you're all done trying to second guess me, I'll pass my judgment now
>Yoritomo Yohko was slain by that guy, there on the board.
>Shiba Ayame was just a tool he used to do it.
>Shiba Ayame, you are not responsible for what happened.
>Stand up, and get changed. White dosen't suit your complexion.
>She rose, unsteady.
>Naomi went to her side to help steady her
>The Yoritomo glared at Shoji
>Still, this happened under YOUR roof!
>The Phoenix were deliberately lax with their security!
>Kitsuki-san spoke up.
>Excuse me a moment, Yoritomo-san.
>You, yes you.
>He pointed with his fan
>Could you step forward for a moment?
>A Mantis that had been staying near the back came foreward
>May I ask your name?
>Tsuruchi Agito.
>You know this man, don't you?
>He gestured to the head board
>What, No!
>I've never seen that samurai in my life!
>You don't remember meeting him?
>No! Of course I don't remember meeting him!
>That is a shame, one should remember the first time they meet their friends
>What! He is not my friend!
>Oh, an acquaintance from the dojo then?
>How could I have gone to the same dojo as him?! That's impossible!
>And why, is it impossible?
>because I would remember...
>The great dojo's train hundreds, thousands of students each year.
>I do not know the names of every one of my classmates, and I never forget anything.
>So why, Tsuruchi-san, are you so certain it is impossible for you two to have gone to the same Dojo?
>I... I...
>The Yoritomo looked at the Tsuruchi.
>What is the meaning of this, Agito-san? Explain, quickly!
>Agito looked down.
>I do know him.
>I served with his brothers, for a time.
>His name is Yoritomo Hirano.
>Yoritomo-sama exploded
>That is preposterous! Why would a Yoritomo turn to maho, and kill one of their own!
>Kitsuki-san spoke
>Perhaps his brothers can shed some light on that.
>Agito shook his head.
>I doubt it. They're dead. They died in the raid on this castle. Crushed by boulders hurled with earth magic.
this one right here.
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Kitsuki tag-teams in BTFOing.
When did Kitsuki-san find all this out?
Most likely he saw Tuskai and his mon when they found him, and based on that made an educated guess i.e. bluffed and baited his way in this one.
Alternately, the Scorpion profit most by shutting down the Mantis and the Crane in this court and made an excellent spy.
Yeah, doesn't Kitsuki have a Scorpion friend? Maybe the Scorp gave him that little secret to BTFO the Mantis, but will want something in return...
>I felt like I was hungover
>It was some time later, and my temples were pounding
>I was aware, dimly, that my mind had been fucked with. Not once, but twice.
>A ladell of water appeared in front of me
>Get that shit out of my face, and get me some damn sake.
>It's an affront to the celestial order for me to be hungover without having had the pleasure of being drunk first.
>Toshiro pulled out a small bottle of sake, and made to start warming it
>I snatched it from his hand and began gulping it down cold.
>fuck, that's terrible.
>I emptied the bottle and threw it away.
>seriously, why the hell do I get all the Maho?
>Um. Sorry about that Ishigaki-san...
>not your fault Toshiro. I get it, I would have killed Kitsuki-san if you hadn't.
>But still... get me some more sake
>You know there ARE some types of sake meant to be consumed cold, if you don't want to wait
>Nah, I'm feeling a little better now, I can wait for you to warm up the next one.
>Kitsuki-san looked over.
>Perhaps Toshiro should cast that spell on you more often.
>Yeah Ishigaki?
>Did that moron just say that out loud, or did some maho tsukia cast another spell to make me want to kill him again?
>No I heard him that time.
>Kitsuki-san, however, was on the other side of the room.
>dammit. Get over here so I can kick your ass
>He chuckled.
>Ishigaki, do you not rememeber anything that happened?
>it's all kind of fuzzy. I remember it, but my mind was all wrong, so I was paying atention to the wrong shit.
>When Toshiro suggested Yoritomo-sama was insulting you, some of the Crane were trying to see if they could take you.
>But your unnatural calm fooled them.
>It was like the first duel between Kakita and Mirumoto Hojatsu!
>... how do the Dragon tell it?
>Kitsuki-san smirked
>You know the two faced one another without striking, yes?
>Yeah, everyone knows that part
>Hojatsu later admitted that Kakita had the better technique and would have won.
>But Kakita himself was not certain of that fact, and so did not strike.
>Monkey looked surpised
>are you saying Cranes only duel when they know they can't lose?
>Toshiro returned with sake
>I decided to be a bit more civilized and drank from a cup this time.
>I was still going to drink the whole bottle myself though.
>Oh yeah, Kitsuki-san.
>how in the hell did you know that Tsuruchi knew the tsukai?
>I happened to notice his face when he came in and saw the head. I could see he recognized Hirano.
>luck, really.
>So, Hirano, whose brothers were killed by Shoji's magic, decided to use Maho to kill the Mantis delegate so war would break out.
>And the person he used as a murder weapon was having bad dreams because the person she loved died in that same battle.
>That we were a part off...
>Yes, Ishigaki-san that is an excellent summary.
>for fucks sake. Someone in Tengoku is laughing their ass off at this.
>That night, Ashitaka came to see me.
>I have my answer now, Onii-sama
>yes. I want to protect people, like you do.
>I don't want to be the one protected.
>I am going to become a bushi.
>I stared.
>Then laughed out loud
>How's that taste, Shoji?
gonna leave it here for now.
Just you wait, Shoji. As soon as the party ganks Hohiro for sorcery, the only Tensai in your family will be the daughter you hate.
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>like you do.
>How's that taste, Shoji?
>are you saying Cranes only duel when they know they can't lose?

Monkey being uncharacteristically wise again.
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>>That night, Ashitaka came to see me.
>>I have my answer now, Onii-sama
>>yes. I want to protect people, like you do.
>>I don't want to be the one protected.
>>I am going to become a bushi.

Haughty castle lord
Wants to see sleepy blood spilt.
The Kuni objects.
Page 9? Not on my watch.
My first character, from an OC-donut-steal Kakita vassal family, would heartily disagree

Then again, that's probably why he died in a duel against a Bayushi-bushi-trained Seppun championing an Otomo set to become a high-ranking bureaucrat that I bitch-slapped thanks to my Brash disadvantage at the end of the 1199 Summer Court

I'll always remember you, Tatsuya-san

Worst part of that campaign though is that we stopped playing a few months ago because conflicting schedules, worsened by the fact that one of the guys, our Mantis, hasn't been able to play any of our games at all since new years

But as much as I am Crane-san, I must admit, this has been quite the riveting read, Crab-san, and I look forward to the conitnuation

As all Clans can be,
Emerald is our Empire.
Covered by our blood.
Crane-san, can you help me not hate the Crane? I'm trying to be open, but it's really really hard.
What is it that makes you hate the Crane, Anon-san?
Doji was a bitch and made Rokugan's political landscape needlessly complicated, and her descendants work tirelessly to keep it that way.
Ah, I see
I must admit, when you look at it like that, it is easy to judge quickly, but can you not say similarly distasteful things of the other Kami?

When you look at a Clan, you must think like the Clan to understand the Clan.

And the Crane think of most anything in terms of Art.

Painting is art
Haiku is art
Bureaucracy is art
Gardening is art
War is art
Dueling is art
Court is art

And the Crane pride themselves as the master artists and artisans of the Emerald Empire.

It even works within the teachings of Shinsei, in that the whole world is as a canvas, and all who live upon it are painters that leave their strokes of paint thereupon, and every one can choose how many and how large those strokes will be.

And the Crane are also well aware that if they are not careful, their own strokes of paint on that canvas will be minor compared to all others.

As the Crane flies high
Shining bright, an exemplar
Falls to arrows, still.

One must also remember that the tenet of Bushido held in highest regard by the Crane is that of Honor. Without honor, nothing keeps a samurai from behaving any differently than a lawless ronin. We require honor, even when it makes things difficult, for without it, the Empire would collapse into a cutthroat chaos.

To give you a proper example of how a Crane is truly supposed to be, I would tell you the tale of Daikakita Tatsuya, but I do not want to steal the spotlight from Ishigaki-san. Also, it would not be proper to tell a tale before it has finished: the ship carrying his body home from the Second City was lost in a storm over tainted waters, while his companions were fighting zombie gaijin. It has yet to resurface.
>can you not say similarly distasteful things of the other Kami?
You can, and that's why the Kolat Did Nothing Wrong™

The only difference being that the Kami did important shit also, like protect against the Shadowlands, and perform divine counter-espionage.
Are you implying that Doji did nothing important?
Or that the other Clans were unable to work within the courtly system she set up?

Or are you forgetting that every Clan, one way or another, has been paramount in aiding the Empire flourish, such as during both Days of Thunder?

Or that every Clan has elements that work against the Empire as much as they have elements working for it?
Great Clans united,
prosperity. Clans warring,
all know suffering
Kakita once drew his blade
To show others how
I'm saying that if Doji was supposed to make a court system for the benefit of the Empire, she fucked up hard.

I'm also saying that the Clans/Kami had absolutely nothing to do with the Days of Thunder, and had they not fallen, everything would have been fine, just like they were 1000 years before the Kami, and 1000 years before that, and 1000 years before that.
The only Kami who really did something instrumental to the victories on the days of Tunder were Togashi, who help the Tunders win Day #2, and Shiba, who was able to convince Isawa to fight and thus win Day #1.
>the Clans/Kami had absolutely nothing to do with the Days of Thunder
Not only did each of the Seven thunders have an incredibly close tie to their respective Kamis (in the first case) and Clans (in the second), even that some of them were directly related to a Kami.

As for how Doji set up the court system, it has a simple explanation:
An Empire as vast as this needs a court system as rigid as it can be to ensure that no regional differences in the courts themselves would lead to misunderstandings causing conflict. If it were less rigid, it could easily lead to exploitation by a fair number of the Clans. If it were more rigid, there would be no need for the partitioning of the Empire between the Clans, but rather the Daimyos.

And by having only one Clan that is known for exploiting the system made for them, the other Clans don't have to worry about each other on that level, much like every Clan worries less about each other and more about the Scorpion when it comes to the underhanded side of the court.

And anyway, could you imagine what the court system would have been like if any of the other Kami had set it up?

Hida: Everybody says whatever they want no matter the consequences, and brawls are used to settle differences as if it were a peasant tavern.
Togashi: Nobody ever says anything because they're too busy meditating on what could be said and what could be heard.
Akodo: Everybody's voice get hoarse during the shouting matches as they walk out of the court and onto the battlefield.
Shiba: Everything takes forever due to the intellectual debates leading to nowhere in particular while decisions need to be made.
Bayushi: One eye is always kept on your own back while the other looks for an unguarded back to stab.
Shinjo: Pretty much the same, only everbody sits on horseback during any courtly event.
Hantei should have done it. He was the fucking Emperor, after all.

Then, when Kitsuki came along a couple generations later, they should have scrapped the whole thing and gone with his system.
By that logic, Hantei should have done what the other Kami did as well.
But he didn't.
Nor did he say no to the system Doji created, which he easily could have done instead.
Dragon bluffs daimyo
Little Phoenix warrior
Thrice his father lost
>You are certain this is what you want, nii-san?
>hai, onee-sama.
>I can not bear the thought that there would be a person whose life existed solely to die in my place.
>When did you come to this realization?
>When Ishigaki-sama left the room we were in.
>I realized then I wanted to be strong like him
>Naomi, Oka-san, Ashitaka and I were sitting around a table, discussing his future
>Oka-san was shooting me glares over her fan
>Naomi didn't seem to thrilled either, for that matter.
>Ashitaka, being a bushi is very dangerous and demanding...
>Aren't Daiko and Tetsute going to be bush?
>Why is it fine for them to face that danger and not me?
>Ah, well...
>I spoke up
>Because it's highly unlikely either of them will have the ability to become shugenja. You do.
>Ashitaka looke up at me in surprise
>don't misunderstand. I just want to make sure you've thought this out carefully.
>You're deciding the course of your entire life.
>It's a big decision.
>He nodded
>I understand Onii-sama
>more glares from Oka-san
>I understood their concern.
>Most young bushi died in their first battle
>Seeking glory, they rushed headlong into battle with the strongest opponent they could find.
>Only to be cut down effortlessly by one far more skilled.
>because of my Crab upbringing, I saw that as a waste.
>But such things would happen even among the armies of the Phoenix and Crane.
>When you're raised on stories of great heroes you want to emulate them.
>Rokugan's greatest heroes often died in glorious ways.
>I did want to make sure Ashitaka wasn't thinking like that.
>I'd had enough of that crap with Ayame
>Alright, Ahsitaka-san. Let me ask you something.
>He sat up straighter, recognizing that I was about to test him.
>Do you know what the most important thing for a protector is?
>He frowned in thought.
>Keen vision! They cannot protect people if they do not see a threat for what it is!
>I nodded. That is very important, yes. But not the MOST important
>In order to protect someone else, you must be able to protect yourself first.
>He blinked at that.
>If you are what stands between the person you are protecting, and danger, what happens if you die?
>Ah, I see Onii-san! A Yojimbo must be able to see threats truly, remove them with superior skill at arms, and stay alive to deal with future threats!
>Right, it's not enough to just jump in the way of one arrow, when there's an army out there intent on taking the life of the one you're protecting.
>Oka-san's glare softned, a bit.
>Naomi smiled a thank you at me
>She didn't need to thank me
>Ahsitaka had a point when he mentioned Daiko and Tetsute.
>I was going to have to have this talk with them one day as well, so this was good practice
>Do you think I will be able to enter Sunda Mizu?
>All three of us were caught off gaurd by that
>I made a show of considering the question.
>I didn't know if I had enough pull to get him into Sunda Mizu. I was one of their honor students, having moved on to advanced schooling as a Defender, but I wasn't really high ranked.
>But even putting that aside...
>Ashitaka, could you stand up for a moment?
>He did so
>Hold out your arms for me
>That's it, just hold them there.
>I felt his muscles
>None at all.
>He wasn't overweight, but he was still a plump child. His earliest education in the home had focused on intellectual pursuits, rather than physical ones.
>In contrast, my children were roughhousing and running around until they were exhausted even before they could speak.
>Training and play were one and the same for Crab children.
>I didn't think one of the Empires harshest dojo would suit Ashitaka at all.
>You don't think I should, do you Onii-sama?
>Sharp kid, like Toshiro said
>I sat down in front of him to look him in the eye
>No, I don't. You have a keen mind, but your body is currently lacking.
>Nothing wrong with that. Training and time will take care of it.
>But Sunda Mizu is unforgiving. Even Crabs who are naturally hardy have a rough time of it.
>And, you have a keen insight.
>I do?
>Yes, you do. Toshiro noticed it, and I agree with him. You see things others do not.
>I had the pleasure of working alongside a Shiba trained bushi for some time, and I got to see some of their techniques first hand.
>I really do think their teachings would be able to bring out your full potential, whereas Sunda Mizu would be training you to be something you just aren't.
>He nodded gravely.
>I understand, Onii-sama. If you say that I am better suited to the ways of the Shiba, then I will go there.
>One day I will stand beside you as an equal!
>I arched an eyebrow
>Try and srupass me kid.
>He blinked.
>I've got years of training on you, and I'm not about to slack off in my own training. You'll need to work very hard indeed to catch up
>So only by aiming to surpass you can I ever hope to catch you at all... I see!
>He really was quite sharp.
>Ashitaka left to go and bathe before going to bed
>Oka-san put down her fan and spoke
>I cannot say I like this.
>He is an Isawa!
>That's not why you're upset and you damn well know it, Okay-san
>She stared.
>I was willing to give her a chance, but that meant I was going to be as open with her as anyone else in my circle
>Oka-san was having difficulty... adjusting to my blunt words
>You just can't say it because it flies in the face of Honor, glory, and what's expected of proper Samurai.
>But no parent want's to attend their own child's funeral.
>Oka-san looked at Naomi
>Yes Mother, he really did just say that. Have I not told you before Ishigaki-kun is much more aware than you give him credit for?
>I shrugged, a little embarrassed by the compliment
>I keep saying you overestimate me Naomi. It's just you have time to think about things when your standing a post on the wall is all...
>Your father will be incensed by this.
>It was a struggle, but I managed to keep the smile off my face
Ah, so this section
Of the tale of noble Crab
It is finished now.

All's well that ends well.
>Father will just have to accept that Ashitaka is his own person, and not some doll for father to dress as he pleases.
>Oka-san and I were both taken aback by Naomi's firm resolve
>Outnumbered, Oka-san sighed and gave in.
>I still do not approve, but I will allow him to decide his own future. I will do what I can to mitigate Shoji's wrath, but...
>I understood. Mitigating Shoji's wrath was like mitigating the damage of a typhoon.
>One simply built their house out of easily replaceable material and simply rebuilt once it had passed.
>She narrowed her eyes at me
>There are no bushi in our family, save you Ishigaki-san. I expect you will give him proper guidance.
>Of course, Oka-san. I want him to have a long and glorious career.
>She nodded and left.
>Once we were alone, Naomi came and sat in my lap
>It is hard, to imagine him swinging a sword, taking lives, being in danger.
>I have tried not to think to much on it, in regards to our children...
>She rubbed at her tummy
>I placed my hands on her shoulders comfortingly.
>They really must enter the shadowlands alone? And come back with a kill?
>Yes. All the bushi do, and most Shugenja as well.
>Even some of the Kaiu go out.
>It isn't as though we do not prepare them to the best of our ability Naomi.
>But still, some never return
>No. Some never do.
>I wasn't about to tempt fate by aserting our children would all come back, so I tried changing the subject
>what was that, back there?
>When you so thoroughly put your foot down about your Father's say in the matter of Ashitaka.
>Oh that?
>I am disgusted with him. How he treated poor Ayame...
>He was going to throw her life away because it was the most expedient solution to the problem!
>Ishigaki-kun... has my father always been like that?
>Have I been blind to his faults for so long?
>yes. You have Naomi.
>But that's okay.
>He's your father, it's expected you turn a blind eye to his faults and obey him without question.
>It's just that Shoji is one of those who such loyalty is wasted on, that's all.
>Naomi nodded sadly.
>What do you suppose will happen with Ayame now?
>Well, she will not continue to serve here in this castle, that is certain.
>Beyond that though, I cannot say Ishigaki-kun.
>You don't think he'll strip her of her name, do you?
>No, Toshiro found her innocent of any wrongdoing. Her Honor is a little stained but nothing that severe. Someone else in the Clan will take her in, I'm certain.
>Good. Good.
>Tomorrow there will be a kyujutsu tournament.
>Will you be participating Ishigaki-kun?
>Your father loves competition, doesn't he?
>Yes, it is because he expects to win all the time.
>So, will you?
>I was actually a moderately decent archer.
>Many Crabs were.
>On the Wall, lame ponies would be staked out beyond the River of the Last Stand, to lure in live targets for practice.
>After all, the more you killed with arrow volleys and seige engines, the fewer you had to fight up close
>Yes, I think I will
>Good. So will I
>Did you not know? I have practiced Kyujutsu from time to time, as a meditation exercise.
>I had seen her paint, arrange flowers, play music, tend her garden, perform the tea ceremony, and dance.
>I had never seen her fire arrows into straw targets.
>I was going to enjoy the looks on the others faces tomorrow as much as she was enjoying the look on mine now
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That'll do for tonight I think. Decided to go with the long version of the winter court, since there were still lots of competitions that occurred.
the action picks back up tomorrow.
Really enjoyed the winter court stuff!
I mean, your storytime is pretty sweet in all places, but the Winter Court stuff scratched an itch I forgot I had.
Does anyone have the screencap dump? It's been a while since it was posted and I wanted to link those to my friend.
>Younger brother
Shamefuru dispray
How so? It's Naomi calling him that, she is not that harsh to call him something more strict but this is a serious discussion in front of their mother, so she is not completely informal either. No problem, no?
"Nii" is specifically an older brother. Younger brother is "otooto", but you never address him like that. You use his name or nickname instead. Like Taka-chan, or just Ashitaka.
I can't wait to see what kind of man that ninja is that framed you in the first adventure
Reading this whole thing really makes me want to play L5R again so bad, really glad I stumbled upon it.
Any screencaps or archives yet? I want to read this stuff later.
At least you got to play it. My only hope is finding a game online and everyone plays fucking DnD.
here's hoping FFG gets the RPG out ASAP after the LCG at GC2017
I'm hoping for early 2018, since I doubt they'd be able to earlier with all the focus on the LCG

Speaking of, I can't quite remember what's been said about the storyline, where they're gonna pick up, how much of AEGs fuckups in the last few expansions will be canon, etc.
Anybody mind giving a helping hand?
What RPG? L5R 5e?
What else?
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Speaking of which, what do we want to see in it? The core mechanic can stay, though I wouldn't mind it if the bloody spider got the flick.
I just got all the PDFs of L5R 4e... now 5e comes out...

I'll just run 4e until more books come out and it's confirmed that 5e is superior
Don't worry, other than that it's gonna be made, nothing has been said about it yet

My group won't be able to play again until at least summer, and I wouldn't be surprised if we finished this campaign in 4e before 5e comes out.

That being said, the follow-up campaign will be a different question alltogether.

Among other things, allowing me to find out if Tatsuya's younger brother Hogai becomes trained as a Doji courtier or a Kakita artisan, and whether or not I'll be playing him as a "legacy" character
That censor bar isn't even trying.
Isn't 'nii' also 'two'? As in, second-son?
No. "Two" is "ni", not "nii".
Dueling needs a revamp, as someone who played a duelist only in 4e

Something that could simulate the Kakita-Mirumoto duel better, for one, and be more in line with the stance-switching my DM (who has done Kendo) considers more in line with proper Iai dueling

My personal idea would be in 5 rounds instead of 3:

Initial assessment

with rounds 2 and 3 being able to cycle so the reassessment can have more of an influence, or once fully assessed, a combatant can voluntarily concede defeat to the now obviously superior duelist.

A kata can be chosen for the stance, with Duelist schools being able to pick from X generic stances and a school-specific stance, with maybe a second stance at a higher rank

This would also further mark the difference between a duelist and a more regular bushi.

Then again, that's just me.
Is there a character creation program/excel sheet for L5R 4th edition?
a character manager
opensource, community created, works pretty damn well, does most of the math for you
Thanks, I'll give it a whirl!
As Death Approaches
Crane Bumps, hoping for some more
Story of Strong Crab
Shouldn't you provide a story that is better than Ishigaki's for the glory of the Crane clan? The Crab is outdoing you by miles
If for once, the Crab can tell a good story, then they can have the spotlight this one time.

As i said before, don't want to steal any of it from Ishigaki-san, but if he doesn't mind me sharing the comparatively short tale of Daikakita Tatsuya, Emerald Magistrate, Darling of the Summer Court (not counting his untimely demise at the end thereof), then I shall do so next time bumps are required.
Alright, sounds like a fair deal
There are three things I want from it:
1) Roll and Keep
2) Different Shugenja schools each have access to unique spells
3) They don't butcher casters like they did in Star Wars
>The kyujutsu tournament was going to be a simple affair that would last the whole day
>Each contestant would be given five arrows, and allowed to pick their targets.
>Each target had a 'kill' zone, and was worth a number of points determined by the difficulty of making the 'kill'
>The targets were quite innovative, however
>They were arranged like soldiers on a battlefield
>The closest ones at twenty yards were just bundles of wet straw, You only needed to get your arrow to stay in the target to earn the points for a 'kill'
>Behind those were an array of targets with more exacting kill zones, and getting further away
>The most valuable target was not a straw dummy, but a set of Oyori, stuffed with straw
>It was placed on a stand, seated, with a tessen gripped in it's hand.
>It represents the commander, a full 100 yards away.
>Just getting an arrow to it would be difficult with the Yumi we would be provided with
>But you only got points if your arrow managed to penetrated deep enough to to hit the heart, lungs or brain.
>A literal kill shot
>Tsuruchi Agito was called upon to act as the judge in this completion
>Simultaneously throwing a bone to the Mantis, by giving the prestige of judging the completion, and removing the one most likely to win from the competition itself.
>After all, a judge should never be allowed to participate in the same competition they are judging.
>To allow such a thing would guarantee such judges would make biased calls favoring themselves, and strip any such competition of all integrity.
>I saw Chibicorn was going to be competing in this event,
>the Lion put forth several competitors.
>as did both the Crane and Phoenx
>A Mirumoto I had not yet seen was joining in.
>With the exeption of Toshiro, our entire party would enter.
>Naomi would be the first to compete.
>I enjoyed watching them all pick their jaws up off the ground when they learned Naomi could shoot a bow
>A servant brought her a bow and her arrows
Yeah, but it's fantasy flight. You KNOW those faggots are, at the very least, going to make their own dice set like for Star Wars and their Warhammer Fantasy.

For that matter, FF has fucking ADD, they got a real bad habit of dumping a bunch of shit right away, then forgetting about an IP the second they get a new license.

I'm not going to hold my breath.
Hell yeah! Time for some archery!
Go get 'em, girl!
>Agito had already examined the bows and arrows to be used, and removed several of each he said would be 'better off used as firewood'
>So the playing field was as level as possible
>It was up to each competitor to know their own ability and use it to it's fullest potential
>Go for too many easy shots, and you would not score well
>Go for too many shots you were likely to miss, and the higher point value would not make up for the wasted arrows
>This was as much a test of self awareness as it was ability.
>Naomi assumed her stance
>She drew
>And released
>Her arrow buried itself to the feathers in a target 50 yards away.
>That's right, Naomi was strong. Stronger then even myself or Mantis-san,
>Her slight frame belied her impressive strength, due to her affinity for water.
>I suspected that while Daiko had her looks, Tetsute had some of her impressive strength
>Naomi drew and fired again, and again.
>A smooth, steady pace.
>Each arrow found a target of moderate difficulty, giving her a very solid score when she was done.
>She hadn't set the opening bar terrifically high, but I was forced to admit I'd need a bit of luck to do much better.
>There were a lot of people watching, so I settled for simply congratulating her on her showing rather than hugging her like I wanted.
>An Akodo was up next
>He drew his bow and then slowly moved it from left to right.
>As he did so he released
>Ah, I think I see what he's doing.
>Rokugani do not 'aim' their shots.
>Rather, the arrow knows the way.
>We simply give it flight, and allow it to find what it seeks.
>If our technique is poor, we end up hindering the arrow, obstructing it's spirit so that it cannot find the target it was meant for.
>This Lion was listening to his arrow intently, releasing when he felt it's desire.
>He listened well, and his technique was solid. He just edged Naomi out by a single point
>Archery was an art of the air, not the water.
>For Naomi to do so well as a meditation excercise against a trained soldier...
>I said as much, to cheer her up
>I am not so fragile, Ishigaki-kun.
>Besides, I would never want to shoot a living person.
>I know, I'm just saying that if we ever end up staring down another horde of zombies I want you with a bow and some flaming arrows.
>Naomi shuddered
>It it is all the same to you, I would rather avoid another zombie army...
>Manits-san said
>Also seconded
>Said Monkey
>Up next was Kitsuki-san.
>This should be interesting.
>I was looking forward to seeing if his sharp eyes could help his archery.
>I knew the Kitsuki school did not emphasize kyujutsu the way it did kenjutsu
>How far had he trained then?
>It turned out, not very far at all.
>He placed three arrows into the front rank of targets, one into a target at 40 yards, with only the top of the target a 'kill' and tried to hit the Commander.
>His arrow fell short, however, landing between the feet of the armor
>Kitsuki-san returned to us with a sigh.
>I expected as much. Perhaps I will put some more effort into my training. We cannot rely on Toshiro-sama to do all the work when our enemy is not within arms reach.
>Glad someone finally noticed
>Toshiro grumbled.
>It would be a bigger issue if you weren't a wal...breathing siege engine.
>I grinned over my shoulder at him.
>'accidental' insult followed immediately by a sincere compliment.
>I was getting much better at the word games played so often in court.
>Toshiro scowled, the let out his half snort half laugh.
>It was Chibicorn's turn next.
>His stance was all worng.
>Instead of lifting the bow up and pushing forward, he brought the bow up to shoulder height and left it there.
>Then he drew back, not to his rear shoulder, but his cheek
>So, this then, is the Yomanari of the Unicorn Clan.
Time for some Mongolian archery
Does it even work without a horse?
>When the Unicorn returned to Rokugan after 700 years away, the brought many strange gaijin things with them.
>The large horses that dwarfed Rokugani ponies were the most obvious, but saddles made of dead flesh, stirrups, and glass were just some of the things introduced to the Empire
>Yomonari was another. It was a gaijin technique for firing a bow, that involved looking down the length of the arrows shaft.
>To me, it sounded like rather than properly releasing an arrow so it's spirit could fulfill it's purpose, the Unicorn completely subdued the arrow's spirit, bending it to their own will.
>I was curious to see just how effective such an approach could be.
>He held the draw for too long, and when he released he did so by only relaxing his fingers, without pulling his arm back as you should
>His arrow went straight through the do on the commander.
>Agito ran out to check the penetration.
>After a moment, he held up his arms, crossed in front of him.
>The arrow didn't go deep enough to score
>Chibicorn drew and fired again. Again striking the commander
>Agito checked and signaled a 'kill' this time.
>Satisfied with that the Unicorn sent his last three arrows into the very back rank of targets.
>Even with one arrow failing to score, the bar had been raised quite considerably in this competition.
>Next, a Daidoji woman.
>Her white hair was cut very short, so someone close to her must have died very recently.
>Unlike Naomi, she wore her kimono in the traditional fashion for archery.
>With her arm that would hold the string out of it's sleve, and her right side bared.
>She wore a sarashi to preserve her modesty.
>Her arm and shoulder I could see were thickly muscled, and a scar ran over her shoulder.
>It's shape implied a blade had come down on her shoulder at some point in the past, but failed to sever her arm.
>The Daidoji were known to produce many skilled archers, and this woman was clearly a veteran of several battles.
brb, gotta walk up to the minimart for smokes
my own weakness, I think better sucking on a bit of cancer.
So, Ishigaki-san, next time the thread needs a few bumps, mind if i share my own story, as brief as it may be in comparison?

Because if so, i'll have to ask my own GM for some reminders on what happened, for the stuff I'm not quite sure about

And I know what that weakness feels like, that nicotine buzz sure helps quite a bit with the mind
Go ahead, Ishigaki is baised but even HE likes to listen to Naomi play the Konto.

Art has a purpose, and the Crane are supposed make art. Hell even the Lion have a school dedicated to making art, so that you can convey the emotions you feel but aren't supposed to show. So everyone can apreciate art in some form or another.

It's just that if you asked Ishigaki directly what the Crane do he'd say something along the lines of "Shit out great big handfuls of culture and smear it all over the walls whether you want them to or not."
>>Her arrows flew, all striking the same target.
>One in 50 yards back, with a thin line of paint for the 'kill' zone.
>The shafts of each were practically touching each other.
>It was a good score, and with all five arrows getting points she was able to beat the Chibicorn
>But I suspected the display of precision was her true goal. It didn't count for her score, but it DID showcase the impressive archery of the Daidoji.
>Did you just now catch on, Ishigaki-kun?
>There is more going on here than just a test of one's skill.
>Kitsuki-san nodded. Think about it. The Mantis are synonmous with their Navy, aren't they?
>Oh yeah. And naval battles are like sieges. Arrow vollies are very important until the ships close with one another, or their reach land to the infantry can come to grips with one another.
>My father is trying to impress upon the Mantis that the Shiba alone can do great damage in such battles,and also looking for who might make the best allies to seek should it come to that.
>I thought I understood now, how some courtiers claimed court was a battle like any other.
>Oh, looks like I'm up next.
>As I scanned the feild I saw several targets that had their kill zones painted very low.
>One was even touching the ground itself
>Not an accurate representation of a person, but a tricky shot to make.
>The inexorable pull of the earth might seize the arrow, crushing it's spirit and pulling it down before it struck home.
>Hah. Just like shooting at those little goblins.
>My trick shooting got me a respectable score, no more.
>I got nods of acknowledgment from the Daidoji woman and the Lion.
>Mantis-san gave me a look when I came back
>What was up with that.
>Toshiro answered him, holidng his thumb and forefinger slightly apart.
>Oh. Yeah they are pretty small aren't they?
>Never really though about that before.
>Hey, Kitsuki-san! Your lover is coming up
>She is NOT my lover Monkey.
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>Hey, Kitsuki-san! Your lover is coming up
>She is NOT my lover Monkey.

Also, shounen protagonism seems contagious.
>Cus I think she just winked at you.
>Moshi Aoi was wearing her usual attire.
>Unlike the Daidoji woman, she had not bothered to secure herself.
>As she released the string passed her chest and set events into motion.
>her arrow found a target in the front rank
>Kistuki-san hid behind his fan.
>She lited up her arms and bow a bit slower than she should, then drew and fired
>I believe she is doing that on purpose...
>I thought you said the water kami were pleased by constant motion, Naomi.
>She struck a target a bit further back
>Aoi drew again, and fired
>Mantis-san leaned in to Kitsuki-san
>face it, you're being courted.
>Toshiro spoke up.
>Nah, she want's me. Clearly
>Kitsuki-san flutered his fan at our teasing, his face going red.
>Which Aoi seemed to mistake for a sign of success
>So she stretched a bit, working out stiff joints to limber herself up.
>It was getting to be to much even for me. I had to look away.
>Naomi's hand found mine, down low and hidden from view.
>She said nothing, however.
>I head a thwak of an arrow hitting it's mark
>And Kitsuki-san made a choking sound
>Monkey and Mantis-san were giggling
>Then another thwak
>Up next was a Bayushi, his mask a demonic mempo split down the middle vertically, so the entire right side of his face was covered.
Since we're getting near the bump limit I'm going to food break here, collect my thoughts on the rest of the tourney, then make a fresh thread in about four or five hours
>She let the string hit her boobs five times
She will feel it for quite some time. This woman makes huge sacrifices for you, Kitsuki-san.
Where did you get that from? The string never hit her, it passed by her chest. She was putting up a show, not flaggelating and embarrasing herself at the same time.
If this thread has outlived it's usefulness, then I feel better about asking this question. I feel like it's probably bait but I need to ask.

What the fuck is this Spider Clan business? I used to play L5R a while back and this story made me want to catch up, but the L5r wikia kind of just rattles off events with little context, so I'm left looking at the timeline and wondering how the fuck any of it made sense.

It reads like the gods got pissy and fucked over the Toturis, appointed a Phoenix as the new Emperor who then turned around and granted Great Clan status to a bunch of ACTUALLY evil samurai, who went on to royally fuck everyone over?

It reads like the sort of thing that happens when you have some people on a writing staff who love their creations and others who hate them to death. Was there more actual merit in there, or it it as big of a shitshow as it seems?

The Spider Clan becoming a great clan is what happens when you let the results of CCG tournaments determine the direction of the plot.
You know how the Mantis was the devs' favourite clan for most editions, and how they got better and better as time went on? The spider have filled that role.

The story was specifically taken in such a way where the Spider get unreasonably powerful. What was originally gonna happen was the Spider win, conquer Rokugan, and then the next edition would take place in the Colonies, where the other clans launch a reconquista of the Emerald Empire. It's fucking bullshit and people like to forget they exist.

It's not even that. EVERYONE hated the spider. Winning a CCG tournament just meant the devs get to ask you "in what way do you want the spider to win completely and totally?"
So the answer is "Yes, it was exactly as big of a shitshow as it seems"? Gud 2 no.

Yeah the devs were pretty inconsistent about what winning a storyline tournament actually meant with the Nezumi victory leading to their eradication as a faction being the most infamous example. Still there were a group of Spider players who were quite good at the CCG and who were pushing specifically for the Spiders becoming a Great Clan rather than just a villain faction.
>mfw best faction was killed off even though they won
>mfw tomorrow did catch them, in the end
It hurts, /tg/!
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What's with your GM throwing waifus at your group?
He's obviously a DM who knows what he's doing.

Which makes since when you think about it. Why even have a villain faction in the first place? They can't be allowed to "win" as that would mean the game ends and the company can't make anymore money off their product. Any victories your villain faction has MUST be temporary in order for the game to continue. At that point, why even bother trying to impact the story when you know it must be returned to the status quo at some point.

Personally? I'm okay with the Spider as a concept, though I agree the devs were too hamfisted with how they handled them in general.

And honestly? As much as I like the Nezumi as characters, I kinda never liked them as a faction. When the core premise of the game is supposed to be "You are a clan daimyo, battling to decide the next Emperor" having a faction that isn't even remotely connected to that premise is kinda silly.

Of course, I personally think where L5R really screwed up was by moving away from the premise of attling to decide the next Emperor and instead having "common enemies" for all the factions to battle against, because at that point what exactly does the clash between my Phoenix deck and Ishigaki's Crab deck even represent? Why are we battling it out when we're apparently being invaded by yobanjin who are on fire and ride giant wyrms?
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