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No worries. Well, you've got a reasonable working theory from Hekasu, anyway.

If people haven't heard of him, the Steel Chrysanthemum - Hantei XVI - was one of the nastier and more paranoid emperors in Rokugan's history. One of his least pleasant acts in the last three years before his death was naming the fortunes collectively referred to as the 'lost gods'. He proclaimed various dead former rivals and enemies to be fortunes of dung, beetles, and various other unpleasant purviews to humiliate them eternally in the afterlife.

Shiroari - whoever he was in life - sounds like he might well have been one such individual.

If so - that gives you a timeline of his death being some time before 607 - some six hundred years ago, and would require his mortal self to have been one significant enough - politically or personally - for Otomo Okucheo (or Hantei XVI as he later became) to specifically notice and feel vindictive about.

Assuming Shiroari's former self was a close relative of whoever built the shrine, that puts them doing so at about the same time. What it doesn't explain is who the heck they were; this is a samurai residence in what's (now) deep woodland. The building might well even predate the Daidoji merchant road - a TN2 Commerce/Recall (Earth) check is required to know for definite.

Either way, it's a safe space to rest. You can stretch your legs, have a meal, whatever. You each have time for a downtime activity before pressing on - in Aruzhan's case if you want to work on a Meishodo talisman you can do so - the resulting trinket won't be pretty, but being the first shujenga in possibly centuries to find an earth fortune's shrine it'd be a rather appropriate to use part of the stonework to create a trinket tied to Grasp of Earth.

Yoshi - a Survival/Survey (water) TN1 check represents you keeping an eye out for the Yasuki or any other travellers.

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mumblemumblemuble "...really? Ants?..." mumblemumble

later

mumblemumblemuble "...those naginata were nice. I should think about trying to get one myself somehow..." mumblemumble

::Keeping an eye out. Water 2, Survival 0. I roll a success and an explosion with strife. The explosion produces another explosion with strife. Which produces another success. Dude. Where was this roll when Yoshi was fighting the recruits?!? Total: 4 successes. 2 Strife.::

Mumblemumblemumble "...I Hope Hekasu and Kenshin are okay. I hope Aruzhan can handle them if someway Hekasu heats up again. Maybe I should check on them? But then no one would be keeping an eye on the road..."  ::sigh:: "People are complicated."

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Kenshin sits down in a corner and closes his eyes, planning to meditate as he waited, taking it as a form of rest. He clasped his hands together, each finger touching its other on the other hand, holding the shape in front of him.

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on another note, does anyone have the new courts of stone book? I can’t get it, but i would really like to see the new schools in it, especially the bayushi deathdealer! Hopefully someone could send me some pics?

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btw, do you all have discord? I’m asking around some friends if they are interested in playing a l5r game on discord(since i have the dice roll bot there), and i’m wondering if anyone was interested to join. I don’t think im good enough to gm(i might try in the future), so if anyone wld like to gm, i wld appreciate it alot!

:) 

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As the ronin rest in the clearing, Yoshi keeps watch. Eventually, he notices movement to the south - whilst the road bends round a curve, the undergrowth is light enough that he can make out a couple of figures making their way on foot along the road northwards.

The first figure is a relatively slightly built woman in travelling robes coloured a mix of deep blue and turquoise, decorated with fish emblems. She looks tired and frustrated, and keeps referring between various tablets as she walks, almost walking off the road into at tree in her state of distraction before her companion intervenes and redirects her.

The second is a greying man who is walking using an old, heavily used bo staff whose ends are bound with heavily knurled copper bands. He is dressed in the fashion of a monk of one Shinseist order or another, but his posture and the careful way he watches both the courtier and his surroundings says "yojimbo"  - and his grim facial expression says "go away".

With 4 successes you've clearly seen them before there's any chance of them seeing you.

As someone who's been to the south I'm not going to ask for a check to recognise the carp mon of the Yasuki, which she's wearing pretty openly.

No-one has specifically called out a particular downtime activity needing a check - if you want to do anything in particular (like Aruzhan fashioning her meishodo trinket or Hekasu trying to write some poetry), then let me know what you're stopping doing, and we can work out any mechanical elements retrospectively

 

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mumblemumblemuble...oh hey there! Yasuki. Better start this before they see me. "Greetings honorable Yasuki-sama."  Yoshi says calmly from where he's standing. "I offer apologies if a humble ronin's intrusion is unwanted while you review documents." Yoshi takes time to bow to the two new arrivals. "I just crossed over with three friends from the North. We are on our way to the festival. There didn't seem to be a representative of the Crab at the border but I have heard there is a significant inn up ahead and are hoping to find Yasuki Niko-sama to stamp our traveling papers. Are you she? I am Yoshi no-Kaze."

Yoshi bows again, and makes sure both that his bow is respectful. And that he stands still and non-threatening. Though he has a bow cradled under an arm, it's not loaded or pointed at anyone.

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Posted (edited)

"Huh? Wha....Where did you spring from?" The Yasuki samurai splutters, before her distracted mind catches up with her voice.

"I mean...Yes. Yes, I am. Yasuki Niko, I mean. Forgive me, Yoshi-san; I should have been at the border post but my duties at the moment keep pulling me away. With the festival coming, you understand. Daidoji Akinari-sama insisted on going on ahead of the rest of his party to ensure arriving well before the festival begins, and expected a guide as far as the inn, and of course once Yasuki Aki-san arrived to take him onwards to Uimi Mura she had more things to delegate to me whilst she's assigned to Nobuto-sama for the festival. Sorry. I'm waffling. You have travelling papers, you say?"

She frees her left hand and starts fumbling in the folds of her obi. Behind her, the monk rolls his eyes slightly and mutters something under his breath - you can't hear all of it but catch the words "on your left side". Niko swallows slightly, reaches back to the other side and produces a small steel chop and a compact ink box.

"Good. Now....um....you said there were four of you? I only see you."

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

Yasuki Aki is going to be there. Well that's just ... dandy. "Yes Yasuki-sama. My three friends are resting behind me in a clearing. Aruzhan-san - that is the shugenja I am traveling with - detected an ancient shrine dedicated to ...  Ants??? Though I admit I thought it looked more like a termite mound." Yoshi shrugs apologetically,  "I am sorry to say I didn't look around that much. I try to be respectful to the Divine, but I am only a humble ronin and of limited skill and knowledge where such matters are concerned."

"Perhaps I ramble." Yoshi bows, "We had heard that there are bandits in these woods and also we did not wish to miss meeting you on the road. So I thought one of us should keep watch. If you wish I can call them over. Or if you prefer I can take you to them. It's maybe 50 yards back that way... I know I am a stranger to you on the road. Whichever option you prefer Yasuki-sama." Though addressing the samurai Yoshi looks at the yojimbo/monk as he says the last sentence. Then he carefully sets down his hunting bow and fishes out Ito-sama's traveling papers. "I have the papers for myself, Aruzhan and Hekasu. They were signed by Ito no-Asahina-sama in the Crane lands. Kenshin-san has his own papers. I apologize. I did not think to ask for his when I set up watch."

Edited by Void Crane

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"I really ought to meet them in person, if you all have separate papers, I think." The Crab courtier responds. "It's a matter of protocol more than anything." She gestures for a few moments in an absentminded fashion with the tablets before the monk calmly takes them off her and stows them in a bag slung over one shoulder.

"Besides which," The monk points out, "If the honourable ronin doesn't have the papers of the fourth member of his group, you will need to go and meet him anyway."

"Oh. Yes, that too."  Yasuki Niko agrees.

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"Please follow me." Yoshi heads back toward the clearing. Just before entering he calls out to his friends. "Good news. Yasuki Niko-sama came back along the road. She is happy to stamp our traveling papers." 

Yoshi bows as he enters the clearing and does introductions as needed.

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Posted (edited)

As the monk steps off the road, he pauses, and pokes Yoshi's hunting bow gently with the butt of his staff, cocking his head to one side. With an audible "hmmph" he turns and briefly looks Yoshi up and down, more closely this time, before turning to follow the ronin and Yasuki Niko. After Yoshi introduces her, Yasuki Niku walks into the clearing to speak to the other ronin.

"Good day to you all, samurai-san," Niku says, bowing and taking the papers Yoshi proffers. "I gather that in addition to Yoshi-san's, I have papers for two of you, but not for the third; a 'Kenshin-san'? If I might impose to review the papers the Ito issued and..." she breaks off, looking quizzically at Hekasu's shoulder. "Erm. It is not my place to pry into another's privacy, but have you been stabbed?"

The monk meanwhile stands next to Yoshi, resting his chin, on his hands, on the top of his staff, in a stance which is slightly too composed to be precisely called a slouch but looks significantly more relaxed than he was when you first saw him.

"I believe I know that bow, young man." He says. "So... are you one of Hideki no Ikebana's boys, or did you kill one of them and take it?"

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Hekasu shakes his head, "Not stabbed at all, Yasuki-sama. It was a mighty slash." He rises and bows properly, gritting his teeth through any pain. "I am Hekasu of Nanashi Mura. An honor to meet you."

And I've got internet back. Thanks all for your patience.

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Kenshin then opened his eyes upon hearing his name, standing up and bowing.

This one is called Kenshin, Yasuki Niko- sama.

The male quickly replied as he bowed to the female, pulling out his travel papers and smiling as he offered it to the female.

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Posted (edited)

(( if that was our downtime, then I should try to craft my meishodo talisman..  it says I can use any ring to bind the spirit, but I feel like I should be using a ring based on the element of the spirit i’m binding. Rolling earth + design I get an explosive success with strife, a blank, and a regular success with strife and a blank. Keeping both non-blank dice, I roll another success with strife, but I don’t need to keep that, having already achieved the 2 successes I need.))

 

Even as the Yasuki approaches, the shugenja can be found ‚Äúnegotiating‚ÄĚ with a spirit. ¬†She must have a close relationship with the spirits indeed, in order to feel so comfortable talking to them in such a manner. ¬†It seems she successfully wraps up the negotiations before approaching the group. ‚Äú ah. Hello Yasuki-sama. ¬†This is very interesting place, is it not? Oh please forgive me, I am Aruzhan, a shugenja.‚ÄĚ

((P.S.:  As I mentioned a few posts ago, I was making a talisman for grasp of earth.))

Edited by Black_Rabbit_Inle

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Posted (edited)

"Thank you, Kenshin-san." Yasuki Niku responds, bowing and taking Kenshin's papers.

"And an honour to meet you too, Hekasu-san, Aruzhan-san." the Yasuki courtier adds, bowing in turn. Before studying Kenshin's papers, she looks back over her shoulder "Ah...could you?"

"I don't see why not." Says the monk. He walks over to Hekasu, lifts his bo staff a few inches and drops it sharply against the stone, and when he lets go it stays upright where it was. Cracking his knuckles and reaching into his bag and producing some dressings and dried herbs, he looks the wounded ronin up and down and bows perfunctorily, making a dismissive gesture as Hekasu goes to respond. "Yes, yes, Hekasu-san. everyone is tremendously honoured by everyone else's existence, including you and me. Now, if it hurts that much, sit down and let someone do something about it."

He wraps his hands in a roll of loose linen to avoid touching the blood, carefully removes the now rather soaked dressing, and looks at the cut. "You must be tougher than you look," He says, "to be walking about after receiving that. The bleeding's just a trickle, though and it looks clean - and if the shock hasn't killed you already I don't see why it should now." He opens a pot, and removes a smear of boiled-clean clay, and sprinkles it with some medicinal-smelling oils.

"This will sting a little to begin with," The monk says, peeling back the cut-open kimono off Hekasu's shoulder, and gently pressing the treated clay into the cut, "swiftly followed, in my experience, by complete agony. But that'll only last a minute or so, and once that stops it'll keep the wound from getting infected, speed the muscle's healing, and will numb the ache for a few days. Don't forget to take it out in a day or so before it heals over, though, or it'll fester. Now...something to keep it closed..."

 

Yasuki Niku is reading everyone's papers and frowns slightly at Kenshin's. "Oh. Not from the Ito, then." She says. She moves her head from side to side, as if mulling things over. "Well, Daidoji Kyouka-Sama's certainly has authority to send someone. You weren't supposed to be part of Akinari-sama's party, were you? I fear you missed them - Geda-sama's younger sons and their retinue were arriving at Peaceful Mooring Inn as I left, and I think they were going to head more or less straight on after their meal."

The courtier shrugs. "Regardless - be welcome to the lands of the Crab Clan, Kenshin-san." She stamps the ronin's papers with her chop. "Nobuto-sama has always made it clear we're to approve Ito no Asahina Sora-sama's travel papers unless he specifically tells us not to, so Hekasu-san, Aruzhan-san, Yoshi-san, you are also more than welcome." She stamps the other three papers in quick succession with a practiced click-clack that sounds like some sort of artisan's machine.

 

Aruzhan is holding her newest possession - its a simple but not unattractive mix of clay dried to terracotta and branches wound into a lozenge-shape slightly smaller than the palm of a hand. Set at the centre is a droplet of tree sap dried to resin, with one of the white ants caught floating in the warm amber, looking almost like a gemstone. Aruzhan absently considers ways she can shape the amber with the jeweller's tools the Asahina gave her during her pilgrimage. As she does so she can feel Shiroari's slight confusion at the nature of the trinket - the fortune's shrine has been forgotten since before the days of the Unicorn's return and no small amount of effort was required to explain what meishodo actually is - and a distant pulse of approval at the shrine being rediscovered.

"Your pardon, shujenga-san." comes a voice from behind her. "An interesting place indeed. I've walked this road several times in my life and never knew this clearing was here. This is the 'shrine to ants' that the tall one over there said you found?"

 

 

 

Anyone with vigilance 3+ will notice that despite a gentle drop of a few inches and no especially noticeable impact, the monk's bo staff appears to have driven itself about half an inch into solid rock, which is why it's still upright.

TN4 Medicine/Water check

Water 3, Scholar 3, Seize The Moment - 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8Strife Small.png , 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8Strife Small.png, Blank, 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8Strife Small.png, 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8Strife Small.png, Blank, 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8

Keeps - 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8Strife Small.png, 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8Strife Small.png, 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8Strife Small.png, 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8 plus 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 for Embrace The Void

Resolve Explosive Successes: None

Resolve Strife: Gains Strife Small.pngStrife Small.pngStrife Small.png

Resolve Opportunities 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 Perform the task efficiently, completing it more quickly or saving supplies.

Hekasu - you may remove Severely Wounded and replace it with Lightly Wounded. The sterile clay has been soaked in a mix of tea tree oil and neat alcohol and stings like a bugger.

 

 

Aruzhan; you now have a meishodo talisman for Grasp of Earth. Theoretically I would also allow you to use it for Commune with the Spirits if specifically the spirit you're seeking to commune with is Shiroari.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

Great. The monk. The monk is practical rather than weird and inscrutable. AND apparently knows my history. AND his staff is magical. Or he does magic. And he's HERE instead of under a waterfall in Dragon lands. Dangerous from different directions.

Though I should be grateful he is helping Hekasu. Yoshi closes his eyes and briefly meditates: Thank you Fortunes for sending Yasuki-sama and "her" monk instead of bandits. And my gratitude for aid to Hekasu while wounded.

Raising his head back up he surveys the scene. How would the monk know my father? DO I want to ask? Maybe if I just stand here calmly he'll forget me and focus on the others....

 

Edited by Void Crane
typos

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If you're meaning that literally out-of-character too; if you want to give the monk or courtier a detailed once-over, we can come up with an appropriate check.

Scrutinize (Air) for both, TN2, with an appropriate skill - probably Design, since you're mostly judging it from their dress and appearance. The staff would be Smithing, the monk's medical practices Medicine.  Other logical suggestions welcome.

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