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Legend of the Five Rings Play by Post

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"Nonsense, Kakita-sama. You are samurai, and we mere wavemen. Honor demands our respect for one of such status as yourself. We are headed to Uimi Mura and we do have appropriate travel documentation."

Hekasu looks to the saddle bags, but any contemplation of rummaging the contents he may have had is waylaid by Yoshi's request, to which Hekasu happily responds.

"What if the Ants were accepting a loss in their pollen trade to increase the Cicadas reliance on the pollen? Then, once they have ensured the dependency of the Cicada, they ceased the secret trade, and made themselves to sole source of the pollen once more?"

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Posted (edited)

Kenshin shook his head.

Please, call me Kenshin... I am... no longer one of the Kakita. The male explained.

Uimi Mura? What is that? 

Edited by Von3679

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Posted (edited)

Kenshin finds himself wondering about the story that Hekasu and Yoshi are spinning; it feels like it triggers memories of something he has heard mentioned in rumours...

 

Interpreting the story to pick out the essential subject matter - the Crab/Crane spice trade and recent shifts in it - is a TN1 Composition/Recall (Earth) check.

Success triggers memories from things either you may have been told by Kyouka or simply overheard whilst standing imposingly at the back of a meeting room at court - it's not unreasonable for you to trigger your Ally advantage on the check, since random gossip you'd have forgotten by yourself might instead have been highlighted with a "trust me, this is weird."

Out of character, Uimi Mura is, obviously, the village where the First Clouds Festival is held....

Kenshin doesn't know the name of the village - but he will know the name of the festival/tournament, albeit that it's "just over the border in Crab Clan lands" with limited detail on directions. 

 

[edit - changed the check a touch to match the nature of the test better]

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Kenshin blinked at the sudden coldness, before shrugging it off.

Might I suggest that these emissaries become their own faction? Maybe they trick the Old Cicada into thinking they are working for them, and trick the Ants too, into thinking that they are helping them by spying on the Old Cicada. But in actual fact, they are secretly amassing information and money to surpass both...?

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"Well yes. I think its safe to say my brave Beetles will have to think on their feet. I'm not sure that three or four beetles makes up much of a ... formal faction. I have had the thought that the bandits gear might be recognized by the Ants. And that there might be trouble. If the bandits had been sponsored by the Ants then obviously selling their gear back is potentially an act of intimidation."

"I'll keep working on it."

"I like the idea of the Beetles amassing money on their own. Of course a samurai should be above such things. But a masterless waveman often needs to think more about his own funds."

"I will keep working on it. I think it needs some thought before I commit to telling it around a campfire. Thank you all for your thoughts!"

"...oh! ... Aruzhan? Did Ito-sama send us off with food for the journey in the saddles? Or are we eating trail rations tonight?"

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Posted (edited)

Aruzhan is still seeing to the last of the ponies, who is happily munching a handful of grain from the meal sack. With a slight shrug, the Unicorn gestures with her empty hand, indicating the barley; food has been provided for the horses, but not for the ronin themselves other than what they may have taken the opportunity to snaffle from his plate over tea.

 

You're a bit too far from the river to go fishing this time, but Ito Sora's pretty much blanket 'letter of passage' probably covers you for hunting on his lands if you're so inclined and can actually catch something edible. I don't think anyone has a bow (?) but improvising a pebble sling might be an interesting challenge in survival or skulduggery if someone has useful skills in the field.

Hekasu, Aruzhan and Yoshi can probably expect some minimum level of hospitality at the border post given a letter from the local administrator saying you're currently in his service, so at least once you get there tomorrow food won't be a problem, whilst Kenshin is meeting someone with their own 'letters of authority' and can probably expect something similar.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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“Our travel papers should give us rights for hunting and gathering the food we require Yoshi-San. If we could get a rabbit, we could have rabbit stew if we had carrots and onions.” Aruzhan continues caring for the pony. “Have you ever eaten yak, Yoshi-San? Some people say it’s too greasy, but it’s quite good for stew meat.. and the milk..  I tell you, a person hasn’t lived until they’ve had a good helping of fermented yak’s milk.”

  Aruzhan seems lost in thought for a few moments before continuing to speak, seemingly to no one in particular. “Far to the west, there was once a cult of barbarians who revered the beetle as a god of death and Reincarnation the beetle, they say, cleans the bones of the dead, thus purifying the dead for their voyage to the afterlife.  This tribe had no respect for ants, who they viewed as mere eta, and they fear the year of the cicada, when those insects swarm across the land eating all the food, but the beetle is a true hero.  Of course, they were foolish barbarians who begged to be enlightened”.  It would seem that she didn’t get the point to yoshi’s story at all.

  “Kenshin-San, are you familiar with a ronin called Kazama?”

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Hekasu retrieves some trail rations from the saddlebags, snacking while pacing. "I have about as much practice with a bow as I do with the blade. I will admit to a preference for it, in fact. But... yak, Aruzhan-san? Isn't that... flesh?" He grimaces at the thought of eating red meat.

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“Ah.. yes..  that’s true Hekasu-San.  The barbarians of the western tribes serve red meats.. sometimes the people of the wind, wishing not to be discourteous, have had cause to do some unsightly things.  Now in the north I hear they have a special kind of fish called ‘mountain carp’ that’s good for stews.”  Aruzhan gently pets the pony as she finishes feeding it.  “Of course, if we were all horses we could live on plants alone.”

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"I would eat a Yak if you had one." Yoshi asserts confidently. "Maybe two if they're small. Though i suppose Hekasu is probably right that eating more than one at time might not be good for one's inner equilibrium." ((I'm pretty sure Yoshi's never seen a yak, and doesn't really know the difference between a yak and a goat...)) "Still you could performa  purification ritual on us after eating the red meat! Couldn't you Aruzhan? After eating Yak?"

Yoshi contemplates a full belly for a moment or three. 

"As it turns out I have a yumi and some arrows packed away here somewhere. I am not nearly as gifted a hunter as my father was, but perhaps I can find something worth eating..."

((What would you like me to roll for Yoshi's hunting exploits? Survival Earth?))

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Produce is an earth approach, and you've got the tools, so... yeah, let's go with that.

TN1 - it's a reasonably rich forest - for a meal, with bonus successes finding additional meals, and make up the shortfall (if any) with Sora's cakes or trail rations

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((Yoshi has an Earth Ring of 3 and 0 rank in survival. I roll 2 successes and an option! Where were those rolls in combat?!? I'll take 2 successes to load up on food for two meals. If Hekasu or Aruzhan is feeling stressed I would gladly spend the option to reduce their strife by 1 as a result of food being put in the pot.))

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Hefting his yumi and a small quiver of fowling blunts, Yoshi sets off to try and secure an afternoon meal.

After a few minutes of soft rustling undergrowth in the copse, there is a flutter of startled feathers and a pair of high-pitched thwacks in quick succession, and Yoshi emerges, holding a plump, stunned wood-pidgeon.

The Ronin smile cheerfully as Yoshi-no-Kaze triumphantly offers the healthy-looking fowl to cook.

Meanwhile, Kenshin hasn't been able to get Yoshi's 'story' out of his head - and he has, after a little annoyance, finally figured out why. The 'pollen' allusion to the spice trade was hardly deeply hidden, but whilst the reference to the 'Old Cicada' means little to him, the idea of someone manipulating spice prices triggers his memory of a conversation from a week or so ago...

Yoshi - that's good for two meals, plus whatever sweets or trail rations the other three want to contribute to your 'banquet' to make it up to a meal for everyone.

9 hours ago, Von3679 said:

Rerolled both to get one super success, 1 strife and 1 opportunity. What do i gain?

Kenshin - could I ask you to post check results in the main thread so others can see? - you recall a conversation with Kyouka, who was worrying about some recent odd behaviour in spice prices - you're no merchant, but you understand enough to know that prices fluctuate all the time.

Recently they had been going up steadily, enough to catch her notice, and she wasn't sure why. It was both cooking and medicinal spices - so neither from the same farmers nor for the same customers, and losses to pirates amongst Crab Clan ships have, if anything, mysteriously dropped, which should lower the price, not raise it.

Kyouka suspected a cartel was responsible for manipulating the price through tariff changes - and if true, then the fact that this 'old Cicada' was bypassing some of the tariffs, might explain why the spices remained more affordable for him for a while - but that in and of itself was odd. Merchants - samurai like the Ide, Daidoji or Yasuki aside - are not given to greatly honourable behaviour, and if spices become more expensive from one supplier, they will simply switch to a cheaper one. If they could not, she worried, it implied a far-reaching cartel on both sides of the border - Crab, Crane, and perhaps the minor clans on the west bank of the Golden River like Sparrow and Fox - maybe even reaching as far north as the edge of Scorpion lands.

Since it's not anyone following any policy declared by or to the Trading Council, and the Daidoji aren't seeing any corresponding increase in tariff revenues, that raises the worring question of whom, and above all why.

 

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Kenshin, having realised something from the story, then tilts his head.

Yoshi-san, is this story made by you...? Or did you hear of it from someone? Maybe it was... inspired? 

 

(This check was done with one black and one white die, rerolled thru the ally skill. Got one super success, one strife and one opportunity)

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“Eh? Oh. You know. It’s ... uh ... something I’m working on. I don’t know if I’d call it inspired yet. But it’s early days. You don’t forge a katana in an afternoon either. Right?”

”A story about bugs in Yuma-do? I think that’s a new one. I haven’t heard anyone tell it. I’m ... making it up.”

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Within a few minutes, a few loose stones along with the plentiful dry twigs of the late southern summer have been transformed into an inviting looking fire, and the filleted pidgeon-breasts (after a brief purification prayer) are cooking away on an improvised spit.

just to keep track of things, who's throwing in trail rations?

Kenshin - aside from the conversation about spices before, you might know a couple of other rumours, having come a different direction. Recall (Earth) Skulduggery or Culture might net you something the others haven't heard.

Since the Daidoji Trading House would get imperial couriers, then you'd have heard about the death of Doji Satsume (not that you'd know the other ronin would)  Since the Daidoji would get Crane Clan messengers, you'd also have a decent chance of knowing about the events of The Price of War - the skirmish at Toshi Ranbo and the death of Akodo Arasou at the hands of Doji Hotaru, the Crane Champion

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Kenshin then tilts his head.

I might have heard something...

He said softly.

Would you be interested?

 

(rolled one skill, one ring, got one super success and one strife)

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'Explosive success' counts as one success and then lets you roll another die of the same kind if you choose to. I'm guessing - having rolled one skill die - that that was a culture check, not skulduggery, so your rumours and news are as follows (you don't need to roll again since 1 success would get you these):

  1. The Emerald Champion has died, of natural causes (recently formally declared as such by the Ruby Champion after an investigation). His funeral was held at the capital recently and was suitably spectacular - he was also a former Crane Clan champion, after all.
  2. The tensions over Toshi Ranbo have boiled over into at least one battle between Crane and Lion forces. The most important casualty was the Lion Champion Akodo Arasou, killed by Doji Hotaru (a Crane would probably refer to her as Doji-ue, as she's the Clan Champion). The political 'splash' is immense and may boil over into actual war.
  3. There has been a high-profile-but-ill-explained seppuku during this period. Seppun Wakita was a (minor) member of the Imperial families, serving Kakita Yoshi, the Imperial Chancellor. There hasn't even been a public admission it has happened, let alone why, but rumours spread. Her death haiku - according to people who heard it - implied she was being pressured by someone into something and took what she saw as the honourable way out. It obviously wasn't anything that 'splashed' on the chancellor himself, since he remains in post.

Also, the others have shared  'new' rumours but if you want to present an older story, then Performance Invent (Fire) or Charm (Water) depending on whether you think you have a decent story from your character's background or want to invent something wholesale (in either case I can happily help figure it out by PM)

 

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Posted (edited)

Yoshi leans forward eagerly, "Oh. yes please. What have you heard?"

But then he pauses and thinks. And then blurts out.

"Oh...wait. Me first! The others already know this but on the road south I passed a monk dedicated to Osanowo heading to the Wall. And he said he heard from a reliable source that everyone had better stock up on what he euphemistically termed "medicinal" herbs and spices. That's because his source heard that that the Yasuki family was angling to drive up the price. Maybe even with the help of the Daidoji Trading Council to do it. I know its sounds a little crazy, but supposedly its really all about an insult Hida Tonomatsu made to some Yasuki Daimyo about the cost of their Obi. They're really angry and ready to gouge the Hida when they are on leave from the wall. At least i though he was talking about drugs. But it looks like all spice sales are being manipulated around here. Honestly! If its true, you'd think somebody around here could find better ways of chasing the ideals of Bushido. But that's what I've heard."

((Yoshi is eating half the pigeon. Someone else is welcome to the other half. Yoshi is also happy to share his stowed sweet/cake from the meeting with Ito-sama.))

Edited by Void Crane

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Posted (edited)

Kenshin’s eyes widened ever so slightly at the mention of the Daidoji trading company.

Is that so....? That is... interesting...

He noted gently.

For me, I have heard that the Crane and the Lion recently fought over Toshi Ranbo. Doji-ue also killed the champion of the lion, Akodo Arasou. I’m afraid this might cause a war... How about you and your companions Yoshi-san? Have you heard anything? 

The male then asked politely.

Edited by Von3679

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