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Legend of the Five Rings Play by Post

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Posted (edited)
 

kenshin will prefer to do a iaijutsu battle, with whoever winning the first strike winning the duel. But if both either miss/is blocked etc etc, he doesn’t mind a first blood duel. I think we should do a one roll duel, to make it quick and snappy, so the others don’t have to wait. Unless the others converse with the daidoji as we fight? Then we can probably do a long hand duel. [\spoiler]

Edited by Von3679

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"...uh ...."

The big ronin looked back and forth between Hekasu and Kenshin. Maybe a little panic leaked out from behind his On and reached his eyes.

".... oh ...."

Did Hekasu just wink at me? Am I supposed to understand that? ... Hello? Hello! Kenshin...his stress? Really? His STRESS?!?...What about MY STRESS?!?

"... err ..."

Those IDIOTS!!! ((I will eat a point of strife watching a pleasant-ish lunch unravel as two potential allies decide to pick a fight at EXACTLY the time Yoshi would most hope for unity)). 

Breathe you fool. Aruzhan won't touch this...I might be the lowest ranked person present. But. I. Have. To do. Something. #@##!$!!! The only possible leverage I have is the wagon tracks. That might mean ...

((Air3/Sentiment 1: I get a blank. an option, an explosion and an explosion with strife. I keep the option and the two explosions which then give me another explosion and a blank. That explosion gets me a success with strife. I use the option to get rid of 1 strife. For a total of 4 success and 1 strife))

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

There is the faintest clinkaclinkaclinka sound of Yoshi's chopsticks rattling against the empty noodle cup as he replaces them on the table with the tiniest irritated twitch in his hand.

 

Yoshi - That's an impressive 3 bonus successes.

  • Shingen having stuff done off the books doesn't seem to fit. Not on that scale, and not when there's no way the other guards can't see it.
  • He's the sort of person who'll pressure people to get something for himself, but only from the safe comfort of 'only doing my job' or stuff with an ambiguous legal state.
  • Openly ignoring people passing through his area of responsibility is the sort of thing which could land him in real trouble with no covering excuse, and it's really hard to see him doing that.
  • Someone else could have ordered him to, but he'd probably have wanted said orders in writing to protect himself (in which case, it'd not be a threat to him, although it might be to whoever gave him those orders). In which case, finding out exactly what his orders are might matter.

Prompting the following thoughts (it's an extensive list given the many bonus 1521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc) :

  • The above is odd, because those tracks are definitely there. And they have to be recent (ish) because impressions in clay aren't going to survive a rainy season.  
  • More importantly, the tracks aren't well hidden, and basically loop around the side of the shrine and tori gate on the other side of the road from the border post, rejoining the road further up.
  • If someone was staying here for a few days....and pious enough to be praying so that they were kneeling at the shrine....and, you know, 'not blind', it's hard to imagine they wouldn't have seen the tracks. Maybe Iwata has something to offer?
  • Daidoji Korishu seemed surprised about something when you turned up.
  • What was it Koharu said about the border? Why does her name keep popping into your head right now?

You might be able to get 'the hint' that he's got some sort of idea or plan or something (hopefully!)- even if not, I'm not sure you've got a particularly courteous option if two samurai are freely agreeing to fight a duel with live blades and they're asking you to preside. At the very least, if you want to unload a (whispered) "What in Jigoku are you thinking? have you been smoking something?" at Hekasu you're pretty much stuck following the pair to do it.

 

Kenshin

1 hour ago, Von3679 said:

I think we should do a one roll duel, to make it quick and snappy, so the others don’t have to wait. Unless the others converse with the daidoji as we fight? Then we can probably do a long hand duel.


Narratively, the duel takes as long as it takes, even if it's "just" a one-roll duel. Don't worry about the others not having time to talk to someone.

@Hida Jitenno - are you okay with a one-roll duel?

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Aruzhan pauses as Hekasu shouts the challenge, barely maintaining her face. She clearly doesn’t understand what’s actually happening. “Hekasu-San, there’s really no call for this.  Perhaps I had been too careful in avoiding the subject, but can’t you see that Kenshin-san has recently lost his family and station.  Perhaps it is different for those ronin who have never had any place to look but up..  for those of us who have had what you seek and it’s slipped from our grasp..  or has been torn away from us, life is different.  I know you are a worthy samurai Hekasu-san, but you have not shown Kenshin-san proper compassion since we’ve met him.  Still, if you insist on your duel, I will do my duty and prepare the field.”

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On 5/1/2019 at 5:06 AM, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

Then, with a smile, she finally replies "we are but honored guests in the house of the kami.   It is they who provide us with this beautiful site under the stars, and with the feast we are about to receive.

:applause:  that was an awesome line.  Stealing it! 

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Hekasu shoots a look to Aruzhan. "I didn't ask you to judge this duel, Aruzhan-san. Only to sanctify the grounds for it."

Inwardly, Hekasu grimaces at his harsh words. He cannot back down from a challenge, especially one accepted. There was no help for it in the moment. Regardless of Kenshin's 'loss,' unless he was just posing for sympathy, Hekasu knew he had to work this through. Hopefully she understands once it's all done...

Yeah, by 'first blood' I was certainly meaning closer to 'flesh wound thanks to razor-edged' than 'risk murdering a fellow PC.' But to make it simpler, I'm fine with using the one-roll. How was the winner in that determined, most successes?

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With that, Aruzhan, Hekasu and Kenshin stand, and make their way from the blockhouse portico. Yoshi continues to stare at the table for a few seconds as if questioning how this could be happening, then follows.

Hekasu/Kenshin  - it's a TN1 Martial Arts Melee check in a ring of your choice (not in a stance so no stance effects!) plus or minus the narrative effects of your tactical and technique choices - which would basically be up to me to arbitrate via PM as alterations to the TN - which I will tell you before you commit to dice kept - and with rerolls via advantages or exploited disadvantages. Most bonus succeses wins and inflicts the critical strike on their rival. I suggest the roll would also be via PM so it's 'revealed' simultaneously. 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 can broadly be spent as per conflict scenes - so for example to increase or decrease the severity of criticals - but talk to me how you want to resolve a roll before posting it.

Everyone - the four of you will be able to find some quiet space round the side of the building where you can talk openly about what each of you has figured out or doesn't understand about what the heck is going on.

Sanctifying the duelling ground is essentially a TN0 task but will take a non-trivial amount of time, so whilst Aruzhan can do that automatically she can't do anything else except talk to people who are already there (Yoshi on the other hand can go get Korishu and/or Iwata if you want them to act as seconds and or want to talk to them privately. Note that Korishu is Shingen's man and even if sympathetic would need his permission to second in a duel whilst Iwata isn't; he's a courier who just happened to be here to meet Kenshin).

I'm assuming Aruzhan will subsequently want to prepare/channel the invocation Jurojin's balm in case of something awful happening.

 

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(( I will in fact channel the invocation, with two ring dice I roll one opportunity and one blank. My skill dice come up one explosive success and one success with strife..  I feel like my best choice here is to actually keep two dice, being one opportunity and the explosive success. I don’t actually resolve the explosive success until I actually complete the spell, which would take place after the duel.))

  Aruzhan storms away from the meal and meditates in the field for some time before finally standing and dancing around the field, and chanting prayers to the spirits.

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The northerner indicates that she has completed purifying the area, but continues muttering prayers under her breath. The air around her fingers as they weave back and forth looks dense, almost treacle-like in consistency, as if some heavy elemental energy is being dragged around and shaped by them.

Hekasu and Kenshin move to each side, taking points on the outskirts of the purified circle directly opposite each other, with Aruzhan equidistant on the perimeter between them and Yoshi - . The two ronin shift their weight purposefully back and forth, stretch their joints, and check that their swords are free to move, before bowing to each other, and Aruzhan, taking one deliberate step inside the circle, and waiting for Yoshi-no-kaze, as judge, to join them.

Yoshi - and indeed everyone - if you want to talk before the duel, now is the time to do so. Equally if Yoshi wants to collar anyone else to talk to whilst you have privacy, also do so now.

Hekasu/Kenshin; your specific 'draw and strike' plan, ring, and roll, send me by PM if you haven't done so already. I'll have a think, may compare notes with you about advantages or disadvantages, and let you know the TN to allow you to choose kept dice. I'll announce the overall result myself once we get to that point.

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As the shugenja blesses the field, Yoshi quickly looks for Korasu-sama. To ask, humbly, about the tracks. Something like: "Korasu-sama, you mentioned VIPs passing through. If it is not inappropriate to ask, did they leave the wagon marks just outside the gate? I am confused by the matter. if it is not an appropriate topic to ask about I hope you will forgive me my curiosity." ((I could make a Courtesy Air roll if you like to try and make this a delicate request if needed)).

Back to the duel at hand ...

Idiots! Stepping into the center Yoshi mutters, "Fortunes please bless all us poor fools. By the by, before you two stab each other" Yoshi's voice grows stern, "- NOT TOO deeply" then lowers back down, "- Shingen-sama expects a gift from us or he's going to make trouble about the horses. I don't know how to stop that. Something weird is also happening around the gate because there are clear wagon tracks going around. Daidoji Korishu mentioned some VIPs passing through..." 

A little louder,  "i swear by the Kamis and the Fortunes to judge fairly as best I am able. Hopefully the outcome is obvious to all..."

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Posted (edited)
 

It was actually Shingen who'd mentioned the VIPs, not Korishu, but Korishu was thereto introduce you, so I don't see why he wouldn't answer.

Call it an easy TN1 courtesy/deceive (Air) check to inquire  about the tracks. Spending 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 on subtlety means Korishu will only recall you talking about the 'other clan competitors' (which is a perfectly credible topic if you're hoping to compete), with mention of the cart tracks being something in passing that doesn't stick in his memory.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Hekasu steps aside to Yoshi, "Yes, I felt we needed some time to discuss that matter." He then relays his epiphany to the group regarding Shingen. "I could offer him an omamori of Benten; it has some sentimental value to me, but it is the only thing I could part with that is not essential to my task."

As he turns his attention to his opponent, Hekasu narrows his eyes at Kenshin. "Not hurt me in a duel to first blood? I'm curious how you intend to do that without conceding..." He smirks, slides a foot back, and places his open right palm before his hilt, the left hand holding the saya in place. He fixes a deep, analytical gaze on his opponent, readying himself for the moment to strike.

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((Courtesy 1 Air 3 equals: a blank, a success, an option, and an explosion with strife. I keep the success, option and explosion. Explosion turns into another option. For 2 Success, 2 options & 1 strife. I use one option to negate the strife. And the other option to be subtle about my questions (Yoshi the almost shinobi returns!) which will get me past the TN 1 check...))

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Posted (edited)
 

Neatly done, Yoshi-the-almost-shinobi! The bonus success might also be useful - you were asking about potential competitors, after all

Daidoji Korishu seemed confused again when you asked him about the carts; explaining that no, the higher-ranking Clan Samurai invited to Uimi Mura as competitors "went through the border post"; they're influential individuals, so their movement is recorded properly. The cart tracks, he seemed to imply, were 'everyone else'. That's why he was slightly surprised when you wanted to come to the border post itself, until he found out you had business there (Iwata's letter for Kenshin, and - whilst It wasn't mentioned but I'm assuming you would have handed it over before the meal - Sora's letter for Shingen).

You're left with a nasty suspicion about what Shingen's area of authority actually is.

 

Two of your possible competitors were named:

Mirumoto Akihisa, a comparatively low-born but now famous niten swordsman and archer from the north, who passed through here a few days ago

Daidoji Akinari, the oldest of Daidoji Geda's three sons, who was travelling in full pomp and ceremony to act as his father's - and the Daidoji family's - official champion. Korishu speaks as respectfully as he can about the ambassador's son, but doesn't say much, and from the subtext you get the impression he thinks the man is a nasty piece of work. He also hints that your reception might have been better had you arrived before him, but whether he means Shingen's mood or some better food and drink from the border post's stores Akinari and his entourage consumed isn't clear.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

The two samurai stare at one another for a few moments, judging when to move. They breath slowly and deliberately, hands ready at their swords, unblinking.

Suddenly with a burst of whipcord speed, both samurai move.

Kenshin moves first, traversing to his left, drawing his sword left-handed. The tip flicks out, and he cuts downward at an angle.

Hekasu, seeing the tightening of the muscles in Kenshin's hand, moves an instant later, his right hand gripping the hilt of his sword and snapping it out and upwards in a classic iaijustu-fashion draw.

Hekasu's blade passes within a hair's breadth of Kenshin's arm, slicing through the edge of his sleeve but not touching skin.

There is an audible snik as Kenshin's blade passes across Hekasu's shoulder, and a deep spray of crimson. The cut is not deep but the tip has clearly caught a vital blood vessel in its passage through the ronin's flesh.

 

Hekasu: Air Stance, Failed with a shortfall of 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8

Kenshin: Air Stance, Passed with two bonus 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8

Kenshin wins, inflicting a critical strike of base severity 12 (Deadliness 5 x 2 + 2) - Agonising Death. The character suffers the Severely Wounded condition for the ring they used for their check to resist, as well as the Bleeding and Dying (3 rounds) conditions.

Hekasu must make a check to resist the critical (since you're not in a stance you can use a ring other than Air if you wish).

Whether you want to succed is an interesting question and basically boils down to Hekasu's faith in Aruzhan (no pressure, @Black_Rabbit_Inle!). If you reduce the critical at all, it goes down to Maiming Blow - a permenant Scar, but no Dying condition, which is, nominally, good. But Jurojin's Balm can remove Dying but not a Scar disadvantage - so in theory, if she can get 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 in three attempts, it's arguably better to stick at its current severity, since medicine checks can remove bleeding and wounded over time (we've not mentioned playing the hyper-deadly worsening injury rules, and I'm not going to spring them on you at this point.....)

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Kenshin’s eyes widen as he quickly sheaths his blade before ran over.

Hekasu-san! We need to get you first aid immediately! 

The male yelled as he rushed to support the male who had hurt.

 

can kenshin make a medicine check? Using i think fire, since he is thinkin on the spot to think pf something he can do to help hekasu. [\spoiler]

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Posted (edited)
 

Yes, but you may well make things worse given that Kenshin doesn't have Medicine.

Also remember Hekasu gets to resolve a resist check first (since narratively speaking that's instantaneous), which may avoid him suffering the Dying condition in the first place if he chooses to.

Quote

 

Dying [X Rounds]

Any character at range 0–1 of a Dying character may make a TN 4 Medicine (Air) check as a Support action to remove the Dying condition. If they fail, reduce the number of rounds remaining for the Dying condition by their shortfall.

 

staunching the bleeding is perhaps a more achievable goal, and has no downside to failing.....but doesn't do anything about the blood loss already suffered.
 

Quote

 

Bleeding

Any character at range 0–1 of a Bleeding character may make a TN 2 Medicine (Earth) check as a Support action to remove the Bleeding condition.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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With a cough, followed by a smirk, Hekasu says, "what do you know... it didn't hurt." He then collapses to the ground.

Somewhere, close yet distant, in his mind and his heart, he hears the laughter of an old woman...

Water Ring 3/Fitness 1: 

1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343, [blank], 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0. I'll keep all three.

Resolve strife: 2/8.

Resolve opp: -2 Strife (0/8); 2 for 'spot interesting detail' in case something about the wagon tracks might suddenly before clear to him in his dying moments.

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1 hour ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

((Just to be clear, it’s easier for me to stop the dying condition than it is to stop bleeding, and I believe scars are incurable.))

I mean, I'm kinda doing both dying and bleeding, so getting at least the one that makes me only have 18 seconds of life left would probably be the better one to stop anyhow.

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Posted (edited)

“...”

“....   ...****...”

Yoshi rushes up to staunch the bleeding! “Hekasu? Eyes open! Keep talking.”

((Medicine 0/Earth 3. I get a blank, a success, and a success w/ strife! I keep 2 successes and a strife. I hope that means the bleeding stops))

“Aruzahn? This would a great point for something magical to happen...”

Edited by Void Crane

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Aruzhan steps forward, continuing to pass her hands back and forth and whispering prayers to Jurojin. Reaching past Kenshin and Yoshi to Hekasu's torso, she releases the power of the invocation, the heavy energies of the earth spirits bracing Hekasu's heart and lungs, allowing them to endure the shock of blood loss. Instantly Hekasu's breathing, whilst still weak, becomes less ragged and his slip toward unconciousness halts.

Kenshin does his best, but is struggling until Yoshi appears at his shoulder. The cut is severe, but whilst Yoshi has no formal schooling in medicine, no samurai who survives service at the Kaiu wall does not know how to bind a wound. Taking strips of cloth from Hekasu's travelling clothes, he packs the wound and binds the shoulder tight, reducing the blood flow to a more survivable level.

After a few more seconds, Yoshi nods to himself. The wound is now only seeping blood, and Hekasu is stable. The wound itself will take a week - maybe even a month - to close naturally, but - 'True' Crane or not - Kenshin's blade appears as fastidiously clean as one would expect of a samurai, the wound was caused on sanctified ground where no malicious spirit should linger, and Aruzhan has called the blessing of the Fortune of Good Health on Hekasu; there should be next to no chance of the wound festering.

@Black_Rabbit_Inle had previously rolled the invocation check by PM and got 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 - I didn't want to influence Hekasu's decision.

Combined with 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8 on Yoshi's medicine check, Hekasu can remove both Dying and Bleeding, leaving only Severely Wounded (Water)

Hekasu: Spending 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to "notice an interesting detail", you were probably having a bit of a life-flashing-before eyes experience, and you find yourself wondering why there are soldiers here. You're sure you remember Koharu saying the border was unguarded.

 

Social Attribute modifications:

Kenshin: It's not a 'public' contest per se, and Hekasu's Glory is not high enough, to qualify for a minor award of Glory, but at the very least it's worth a trivial award (1 Glory) since you were the challenged party and won convincingly in front of witnesses. You can also have a trivial sacrifice for compassion, giving 1 honour, for attempting to treat  Hekasu's wounds after the duel. ('treating an enemy's wounds' is a minor sacrifice but I'm downgrading it because you didn't manage to stop the bleeding, and he's not precisely an enemy, but it still deserves to be recognised)

Hekasu: The duel was at least in part contrived as a reason to get you out of the post (hence the wink) - not that it wasn't genuine, but that's probably a trivial breach of sincerity - that'd be -1 honour, doubled to -2 due to clan background. On the other hand, being prepared to take a potentially fatal critical strike to provide a way out of an awkward situation is definitely worth a minor sacrifice for honour (3 honour), for a net increase of 1.

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Propping himself up on his elbow on the opposite side of the injury, Hekasu coughs a little. He wags his finger at Kenshin, "don't lie to me again, or I'll have to teach you another lesson like this." He gives a short, self-deprecating chuckle that turns into a bit of a coughing fit.

Once that subsides, he looks to Yoshi. "So, how many soldiers does it take to garrison an unguarded border post?"

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