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Hekasu turns sharply to hear of the death and war news, but doesn't comment. He continues to eat his serving of trail rations, the thought of eating a yak turning his stomach to the point of not even wanting to try to keep the fowl down.

Hekasu is eating trail rations.

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Posted (edited)
 

Right. Then Hekasu's eating trail rations, Yoshi, Aruzhan and Kenshin can have a mix of wood-pigeon and Sora's cakes to follow.

Anyone else have anything they want to share or discuss in the scene?

  • I guess Kenshin needs to sort out what he's doing - i.e. the only reason (I suspect) he'd not travel on, having said he's in a bit of a rush, is if a horse became available if he waited overnight.
  • Yoshi and Aruzhan might want to discuss the implication of the Lion Clan's loss
  • Kenshin/Yoshi might also choose to discuss his story more and poke the subject of the Daidoji and the spice trade, Hekasu might be interested to hear the rumour about Seppun Wakita's 'retiring from public life' - he'll have passed near the capital, so might be aware of the early stages when told about it in retrospect, but won't have been aware it was anything significant at the time. Hekasu is something of an independent courtier type rather than a duellist, bushi or shujenga, so might well have a high enough Government or Culture skill to make a shot at knowing more about her.

Sooner or later, I'm going to 'the following morning'. My one departure from 'the rules' here is that I'm going to not follow the standard rules for recovering from fatigue.

I know Yoshi and Hekasu still have some (I don't think Aruzhan has?), and 'a full night's rest' qualifies you to recover twice your water ring.

I'm not ignoring that, but my one caveat is making you make a TN2 Survival/Withstand (Earth) check.

Pass, and you get 2 x your water ring back. Fail, and you get only 1 x your water ring back, because....well, as @Hida Jitenno noted, if you've never ridden before, describing the following evening as "a full night's rest" is optimistic at best....

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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I can't pass that check without gaining more strife, and I only need to recover my water ring's worth of strife anyhow. Do you still want me to roll, given that I always have to keep 1 die when rolling any check?

Also, no government or culture. They aren't on the list for Worldly Ronin to choose from. I'm a really awful courtier, all said, lol.

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"Oh. Wow. I bet the Lion are pissed."

Yoshi thinks a minute. Then veers to another topic ...

"We have 4 horses. You know. I mean, if Aruzhan and Hekasu agree, maybe you should just ride with us tomorrow. Hekasu? Aruzahn?"

...probably the last thing Yoshi says before sleeping...

"I feel so much better having eaten well today...even with the "exercise." Goodnight friends."

((Survival earth is a success, an option and a success with strife. I keep the successes. And wake up still a little sore but mostly relaxed.))

 

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Hekasu shakes his head, "Ito-sama entrusted those horses to our care. It's carrying the provisions, so I don't think it should be additionally burdened. We have a specific mission in his service, and these horses are part of accomplishing that. So no, I would not agree with you."

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“ Four horses, three saddles. As for the burden though, if we distribute the weight properly it shouldn’t make too much difference to the ponies, and an extra pair of hands could be helpful.  This forest has some bandits. We should set watches. I will take the first watch, so I can rise early and prepare the steeds.”

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Posted (edited)
 
7 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

I can't pass that check without gaining more strife, and I only need to recover my water ring's worth of strife anyhow. Do you still want me to roll, given that I always have to keep 1 die when rolling any check?

You recover Fatigue, rather than Strife, from a day's rest (I thought you still had some outstanding from the skirmish?). If it's less than your water ring, then keep a non-strife result, success or not, and we can assume you 'fail' - Hekasu wakes up more or less back to fighting trim in a mechanical sense, but narratively speaking his thighs and back feel like a rampaging herd of trolls have run over them and when he thinks the other three aren't looking he's probably glaring at his pony like he suspects it's secretly some sort of torturer-oni in disguise....

For a 'following morning' once you guys are done, but in response to @Black_Rabbit_Inle's comment, re-jigging the loads is probably labour/adapt (water), but it's not going to be difficult. TN1 succeeds, failure still indicates you've done it but will make the survival check for the journey a bit more arduous because the ride will be lest comfortable.

Yoshi's pretty much going to sleep - anything else from Aruzhan, Hekasu or Kenshin? I feel like there's a bit of a debate to work out.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Probably because - in character at least - he's been a bit oddly schizophrenic about his status and not especially open about himself (I understand why, as would the others if it's explained out of character, but that doesn't change that).

Hekasu's initial '-sama' reaction is quite correct for a full-blood Kakita samurai, which is what Kenshin initially introduced himself as, then corrected after the fact.

 

Being cautious about the horses is an honourable concern - that's not to say they can't offer the use of one, but the problem Hekasu is pointing out is correct; they aren't technically 'their' horses to offer; they're leading them to market for Ito Sora, so in theory they have to be careful not to tire or hurt them overmuch (hence Aruzhan's comment in return about jimmying the loads across all four). 

 

It's essentially a (small) Compassion vs Duty honour clash. It's a minor issue both ways, so it probably boils down to respective clan views on the two Bushido Tenets, and may result in a minor honour boost/hit depending on which way the trio decide to go.

  • Unicorn values would probably side with Compassion, and hence Aruzhan would take the honor hit for not providing a horse
  • Scorpion values would side with Duty, and hence Yoshi would take the honour hit for allowing use of the horse
  • Dragon values don't really value Duty that much, and hence Hekasu would take the honor hit for not providing a horse

I hasten to add we're talking about 1 point of honour either way at most, here.

 

(Plus, on a totally separate issue, Yoshi and especially Hekasu are probably in sufficient pain from a day of riding with a saddle that the idea of someone having to do so without one tomorrow is deeply unappealing.)

 

Broadly, there are two ways to resolve things:

  1. If the trio agree, redistributing the loads and someone riding without a saddle (I would assume the Unicorn is probably the best horsewoman, and if people recall she picked out the best horse), with the honour changes as above
    • Note that the traditional 'refuse an offer twice' may also be in play here. Kenshin is claiming to be (sort of) a Crane, and they do that sort of thing.
  2. If they don't, Kenshin leaving before dusk and making his way on foot to the border, with the ronin on horses catching up so they arrive at broadly the same time. There will be horses for passing couriers at the border station so in theory he could requisition one there, but that will be a courtesy versus glory versus rarity check. If Doji Kyouka's messenger is there, you might be able to claim your Ally advantage, but a horse is going to be a fairly high rarity thing to requisition. Your Glory is 44 but the Daidoji Garrison Commander isn't your lord and is under no specific obligation to see you outfitted, so the TN may be quite high. Food for a visitor is one thing, handing over a courier's remount quite another.
    • That would instead probably be an honourable (if rather stand-offish) response for Kenshin, but it does mean he's going to be exhausted and a bit bedraggled by the time he gets to the border station.

 

 

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gotcha

 

 

Kenshin then decided to stand up.

Thank you for sharing your stories with me. I wish you all well in your travels. I shall need to leave now, in order to be on time for something I need to attend to. May you have safe travels.

The male bowed, dusting himself off and making sure that he had all his items before he turned to head off.

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Posted (edited)

As the figure trudged off south along the merchant road into a warm evening gently drifting towards dusk, the three ronin - now nicely sated after a pleasant day of decent food - settle down to rest.

 

Aruzhan, as she had arranged, takes first watch, and in addition spends some of her time soothing the trio of horses, who eventually settle down under the willow their reins have been tied to, and also drift off to sleep.

Hekasu plays with a few more verses for one of his letters for a while before finally folding the parchment away, stretching his recalcitrant limbs a few more times and settling down.

Yoshi-no-Kaze proves able to fall asleep within seconds of his head hitting the blanket-padded tree root he has rested it on. More importantly to Hekasu and Aruzhan, and much to their relief, the large ronin's much-stated reassurance proves true; despite his size he does not audibly  snore.

The night passes uneventfully, and the following morning, with the sun rising Hekasu goes to wake Aruzhan but discovers the former Unicorn samurai is already half-awake. The need to rise early to shift the animal's loads has become somewhat redundant, but she can tend to them and give them a small handful of morning feed regardless.

 

 

Okay....then I guess Kenshin takes matters into his own hands and short-circuits the debate. I'm not going to penalise Hekasu or Aruzhan - who would be the ones to lose a point of honour - since the matter was taken out of the trio's hands.

Since Yoshi was going to sleep more or less immediately, I'm assuming he'd be the one woken by Aruzhan (Hekasu might well have spent more time composing haiku - a summer night, a day spent in the company of two young ladies (Koharu and Aruzhan), and a gently dying campfire being the sort of thing which brings out that sort of mood in people) and hence Hekasu would likely have taken the last watch and be the person to wake people up.

Hekasu; you can make another composition check if you like but I'm guessing just playing around with odd verses that you're not at this point planning to present is probably just a TN0 task needing no check.

Aruzhan; you've no composition skill as far as I know, but if you were so inclined you could try and 'prepare' a ward to create an inscribed invocation. Alternatively you could start trying to craft a meishodo talisman; I don't believe you actually have one at the moment, and you're allowed to create one per level of school rank. I'm not sure either is something you can complete whilst also holding a watch for the night, but you could certainly start it and do enough to qualify for actually making the check, even if more time is needed tomorrow for it to be 'usable'

Yoshi; I'm not sure if Aruzhan or Hekasu still has outstanding strife but reducing it if they do that would be the obvious thing to spend your 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 on....

Being anxious to wake early and 'get on with it' suits Aruzhan to a tee, too; she does have Impatience, after all.

We'll call this an End Scene, with a new Narrative scene covering the (hopefully uneventful) day's ride - or walk - to the border, and what happens when you arrive there.

Realising we've probably covered as much as we would have done in a gaming session, if people have spent their void point, it is restored at this point so everyone has a minimum of 1.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Hekasu awakens and takes a few moments to meditate and reflect on his dreams, considering if any were interesting enough to write down. Deciding against it, he spends the rest of the moments enjoying the clouds and the scenery. Then he gets up, stiffly, and begins helping the others get the horses ready for the ride.

Yeah, I meant fatigue not strife. Survival 0, Earth 1: 

792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0.

Resolve strife: 6/8.

Resolve success: Fail. Recover 3 (water ring) fatigue: 0/8).

Magnus nailed it. Hekasu really wants to be a Crane samurai. You were a Crane samurai, claimed the glory of the name, and then disavowed it in the course of minutes. So it'll take a little for him to come back around. He would have been fine with being outvoted and not refused to allow Kenshin the horse, so I apologize for not getting on to post yesterday. If you want me to still take the honor hit, I expected it and won't argue.

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Yoshi moves a little slowly in the morning. Stretching a little as he works out the kinks from yesterday. "Do you think we should name the horses? Or do they already have names?"

((Yoshi recovers and is down to the manageable totals of 2 fatigue and 1 strife (out of 8 and 10 max respectively))

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The morning is crisp and refreshing; the sun is rising but has yet to fully warm the landscape. The willow branches are shifting in a gentle wind, but for the first time in weeks the ronin see that the fine, feathery ash from the willow twigs they gathered for the last night's fire is not moving in the breeze; instead it has been wetted down by rapidly-drying dew.

The horses appear to be in fine shape and well-rested, and are munching in a satisfied manner on the wet grass even before the sack of meal is opened.

Several hours ahead, Kenshin has walked through the night, and - whilst tired - is about halfway to the border. He is currently following the merchant road as it winds its way back and forth through a series of low hills, avoiding any slopes which might prove too much for a heavily-laden cart.

If you feel like you should take a 1 point honour hit far be it from me to argue. You were kind of arguing against your character's default values there, and arguably against Crane ones as well, if you sub out

Compassion for Courtesy, which is not quite correct but the closest 'other' fit.  It does explain Hekasu's irritation, too; Sincerity is the Dragon's big thing, so misrepresenting yourself (intentionally or not) goes down badly.

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((Yeah. Making a meishodo talisman is a downtime activity, and I was also assuming that I don’t have one yet.  I intend to make a talisman for grasp of earth when possible.))

”all horses have names Yoshi-San.  It is not their fault that we can not understand them, so we can not hear their names.  All the great shugenja of the unicorn clan know the names of horses though.  For now, for our purposes, this one..” Aruzhan gestures toward her chosen steed “ is named Ichiko. the other are Niko and Sanko. The one with the pack is named Wildfire. We should hurry. We can gather food along the way.”

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Posted (edited)

The three ronin check over their saddles, re-stow their travelling packs and mount up on their ponies.

Well rested, they set off into the early morning, following the Daidoji merchant road towards the southern border with Crab Clan lands.

 

 

Aruzhan. Fair enough. I'll make sure to include a downtime scene at some point before you get to Uimi Mura.

Kenshin - you're doing a night-time 'forced march' yomp on a good road over a fairly long distance, which is going to be more an issue of endurance than anything else. I'll call that TN2 Fitness/Withstand (Earth)

Aruzhan/Hekasu/Yoshi - you're in for a comparatively easy ride across the same journey, and this will mostly be about getting along - physically and emotionally - with your mounts. I'll call that TN1 Survival/Charm or Shift (Water)

No-one is going to fail to make it to the border post by, say, early afternoon, but success/failure determines how early you arrive and how exhausted you are when you do, with the number of bonus successes or shortfall broadly defining your order of arrival.

Aruzhan, remember you have one bonus kept die set to 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to use on this check, as Ichiko is the best horse of the three, which would be one-half of 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 for "Spot an interesting physical detail present in your environment not directly related to your check." - a.k.a. "oooh, look, lunch!" - or "Provide assistance to the next character to attempt a check to accomplish something similar" - it may be wise for Hekasu to let you make your check first....

Hekasu - no-one's still looked at that letter....

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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((If I roll water+survival I get 3 successes and 1 extra opportunity and 2 strife. Aruzhan is more concerned with making sure the ponies get to where they need to go rather than being concerned about lunch or enjoying nature, so she’d choose to assist someone with their check.))

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"Are we in a hurry? I don't think the village is going anywhere. We could stop and hunt for lunch..."

Yoshi is less discomforted by riding than Hekasu appears to be. But he isn't a master horseman by any stretch .After several hours he's looking for a chance to stop and rest... At the same time, in all matters of horses, he is clearly deferring to Aruzhan's judgement(s).

"Anyone read the letters we were given? No obvious surprises from the "Old Cicada in them?" the big ronin asked innocently.

((I have a water ring of 2. I roll one success. And an option with strife. I'll keep the success. Nothing incompetent or back breaking here. But nothing amazing or cool either. Yoshi's riding skill are competent if not mazing for the situation.))

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Posted (edited)

The former unicorn guides the trio on, occasionally directing Ichiko to 'nudge' the smaller ponies to keep moving, as the crushed chalk road meanders back and forth.The ronin are also in the region of low hills and broad valleys before the border, where - according to their map - the forest should restart as they pass onto Yasuki lands.

 

It takes a moment to corral Wildfire and remove the letters from the satchel on the pony's trail harness, being careful not to damage the elegant bindings around the parcel, which - Aruzhan is unsurprised to see - appears from its shape to be the scrimshawed antler.

The two are indistinguishable in their rolled-up state but unsealed, and the first letter you open proves to be addressed to Ide Arban.

It contains a few personal greetings - opening, rather shockingly given two's difference in status, with the words "Dear Zeni-Grubbing Merchant-Sama", thanking the Unicorn noble for her "Years of friendship", returning the token she offered with much gratitude, and vaguely reminisces about encounters the pair had on the Musha Shugyo together, before ending on a rather sad farewell from "an Effete, Stuffy Courtier".

A second page outlines the situation concerning the horses and swords. Ito Sora, hoping to prevail on the friendship of the Great Clan samurai, asks that she take the opportunity of the markets around Uimi Mura at the festival to sell them on the Ito family's behalf. He also notes that since a fair proportion of the funds are likely to be spent on slightly expanding and above all better equipping the ashigaru garrison of the village, if she can obtain decent light armour for them at the festival and arrange to have that sent directly, that would be even more welcomed.

Finally, there is a letter of recommendation for yourselves; stating that you have taken on the task on Ito Sora's behalf in "a time when age and infirmity have rendered him even more inept a rider" than Ide Arban likely remembers, without promised reward beyond the travel papers to make the journey, simply as an honourable favour for an old man. He suggests, therefore, that if she find herself looking for several good blades in the tournaments around the festival for one of her "travelling menageries" she could do far worse than keep an eye on the three of you.

 

Technically you're the 'next' character, so you get the assist whether you like it or not. That means you roll one extra skill die and can keep it if you want. It also means (with @Black_Rabbit_Inle's agreement) Aruzhan can take the 1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0 result on your behalf.

With one additional 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343, you will have 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 and could, in turn, assist Hekasu.

 

A TN2 Composition/Scrutiny (Air) might pick out a bit more subtext from the letter. 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

The second letter is addressed to "Daidoji-san", with no personal name.

It briefly expands on the travel papers - outlining that the horses and their packs are being taken "for sale at the 'First Clouds' festival", and asks that the commander "see to it that whoever Nobuto-Tohashiro-san has assigned from the other side of the border" stamp it too. It also instructs the garrison commander waylay the first samurai or reputable merchant of the Crane clan passing the border going northwards "somewhere useful" and pass on the letter, to be ultimately conveyed to "Ito no Asahina Hashimata-Sama", the family Daimyo.

There are four further elements:

Firstly, the news of Doji Satsume's death, "in case it has not reached his ears or yours by any other means".

Secondly, the rumour from the Monk of Osano-Wo "though that more concerns your duties at the border and those of the Trading Council, and need not bother Hashimata-Sama unless you have heard more of substance on the matter".

Thirdly, Ito Sora's decision to cease taking medicines in advance of the rainy season. He is, he says "overdue to join my honourable ancestors", but that matters would be left "in an orderly fashion in competent hands". He thanks Ito Hashimata for allowing him to progress from his former role as the administrator's Karo to inherit his predecessor's duties as administrator of Flint Quay village, and begs that he send a new Ito family samurai to act as Karo to the new administrator, and perhaps a ji-samurai retainer.

Finally, that he wishes to tender his nomination for his replacement; namely "Ito no Asahina Koharu-san" - who he notes he is formally adopting from her current ji-samurai status into the Ito family for her services to the clan.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Hekasu rides along quietly, taking in the scenery. Once Yoshi gets the letters out, Hekasu does his best to rein up beside him. "We have everything we're supposed to?"

Survival 0, Water 3: 

1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f01211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0. Keep 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0.

Resolve explosion: 1521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0. Dropped.

Resolve strife: 7/8.

Resolve opportunity: Remove 2 strife: 5/8.

Resolve success: 1 v TN1. Success.

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