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Posted (edited)

"The Fortune of White Ants?" Says the monk. "I can't say I've ever heard of such - though I admit theology has never really been my field. I'll be sure to mention it to someone and have it marked on the local maps. It just goes to show how much we all still have to learn, eh? Still, with the Fortune's blessing..."

He bows to the shrine, forming his fingers into a convoluted mudra and whispering an entreaty under his breath. Then, he simply leans forward and gives the side of the shrine a smart rap with one knuckle. As before, a small cluster of soldier termites boil out, but this time the monk unwraps a length of linen and wipes it through them, leading a handful of them to swarm over it.

Loose linen covered in angry termites dangling from his wrist, he walks back to where Hekasu has sat down.

"So...a miracle, courtesy of the Fortune of the Shrine. Please hold your robe off the wound." He reaches down and picks up a single thrashing soldier termite. "This is a trick I learned a long time ago; cleaner and less painful than a needle and thread."

He reaches forward, and lets the termite's powerful jaw bite down across the cut. With a muttered plea for forgiveness, he twists the termite's body away, leaving the head and jaws across the cut. Reaching down and picking up another, he repeats the process, leaving a line of termite heads clamping the wound closed like a set of stitches. His work finished, he shakes the remaining termites off the linen and bundles it back up into a spare pocket.

"The bites will hold the cut closed. The jaw muscles will soften over a few days, at which point they'll come free - which is about when you want to take the clay out."

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Fortunes! I do not want to *ever* piss off that monk. Does Hekasu look a little green? I hope he doesn't puke.

Yoshi tries to catch Hekasu's eye and give him an affirmative nod. Like, he's holding up well.

Come to think of it, I hope I don't puke either. If I stand still and he might not notice me again. Who is that guy?

((Yoshi Rolls Earth 3 Skulldugary 3 and comes up with 2 blanks, 2 successes, a success with an option, and a an explosion with strife. I've got enough strife at the moment. So I keep 3 successes and an option. I'll spend the option to reassure someone with my stoic presence. If Hekasu wants/needs it, he can drop 2 strife.))

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Posted (edited)

"Good luck finding it, Hekasu-san. I find appreciating the wilds helps calm most souls." The monk says, nodding. "I fear my old ears and eyes won't be much help, though. The ruins do look slightly unstable here, though, so be careful or you could find your footing unsteady." Stowing away his linens and oil bottles, he sits down in a lotus, cracking his shoulder joints in a rolling fashion that reminds Yoshi more of a brawler limbering up as he does so. Reaching out with one arm, he pulls gently on his staff with a couple of fingers and it tips over, falling into his waiting hand. He catches it and lays it across his knees, closes his eyes, and begins to hum gently to himself, just loudly enough to clearly 'not hear anything'.

Yasuki Niku nods. "I am sorry for the assumption, Kenshin-san." She says. "Daidoji Geda-sama's sons had a fair coterie with them, almost half a dozen...well, it doesn't really matter - anyway, the eldest - Daidoji Akinari-sama - is the Daidoji Trading Council's 'offical' competitor at the festival's iaijutsu tournament, which is why I got stuck...I mean was honoured to act as a guide for him. Seeing the honourable councillor's chop stamps on your papers, it was nevertheless an error on my part to jump to conclusions."

The crab courtier pauses a second, then speaks to Kenshin in a quieter voice.

"Umm. I should say I don't mean to pry, but that's not true: I do. The clan, I mean...that is it's my duty to ask even when I..." She trails off, then restarts in a more determined fashion. "I mean no insult or implication; but rumour has it Daidoji Kyouka-sama has recently had some sort of trouble - the details are a bit unclear - a scandal, or something about a jealous admirer, or even a claim of an assassination attempt on her, according to three different versions I've heard. And now she's sending a ronin trailing more or less the exact route that Daidoji Akinari-sama is following, not more than a day behind him, but not part of his party and they certainly didn't mention knowing you were coming. A ronin who's a skilled swordsman, given that her travel papers say you're going to compete at a tournament. Travelling with a trio of other ronin, one of whom looks badly wounded. Given...um....Akinari-sama's reputation...which seems not unfounded...can you see how a suspicious mind might take it?"

 

Hekasu; yeah, clearly you're feeling rather queazy. The clearing's not huge so I'm going to assume you'll make it to the tree line without needing to make a test or anything before seeing if Shingen's cook's ramen tastes as nice the second time around, so there's no glory or honour penalty. The monk is clearly 'ignoring' you, and his comment basically boils down to 'yell if you're gonna pass out.'

Yoshi: You certainly can't place the monk, so if you've met him before it's a long time ago - as in "you were a child" long time. You can't recall meeting - or your father talking about working with - a monk of the Brotherhood of Shinsei before, but then quite a few aspects of the monk's demeanour implies someone who's retired to a monastery after a fair amount of time spent in the world. The trick of using biting termites as sutures is not one you recall being taught by your father, or in the basic triage lessons when serving at the wall - in the latter case it would be a bad idea as any insects there would be too likely to be poisonous, tainted, or both - but a creative use of nature does trigger a vague memory of someone your father talked about, a half-Hiruma ronin from Maemikake village in the Shinomen forest.

Kenshin. You might want to discuss your response out of character, but you don't really have a chance to do so in character.  TN3 Culture/Recall (Earth) might imply you've heard of Daidoji Akinari as more than just Geda's oldest son

 

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)
 

lol. Only could roll one ring dice, and got an opp and strife. Will once again, cancel them out. I really need to get better die lol.

 

 

Kenshin bows.

I understand. However, rest assured Yasuki Niko sama, I am of no threat to Daidoji-sama’s party. I am a mere... aquaintance of someone who knows Kyouka-sama, who managed to get her help in letting me enter this tournament.

Edited by Von3679

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Whatever reputation Akinari has, you've never heard of it.

I'd suggest a TN2 Courtesy/Charm (Water) check to act convincing. Niku doesn't really have grounds to deny you passage, but whispered rumours behind you would hardly be a good thing.

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Posted (edited)

The crab samurai looks deeply unconvinced, but bows and packs away her inkstone and chop, as Hekasu rejoins the group.

"I see. I suppose that I'm done; I should probably continue heading on to Seido Hikora." she says. "You're still a little over a day from Uimi Mura; are you planning to stop at Peaceful Mooring Inn on your way south?"

Failure has no immediate negative consequences, but you may find yourself picking up a temporary disadvantage some time after you arrive at Uimi Mura - not immediately, but after a long enough period for rumours to 'catch up' of Yasuki Niku's suspicions that you're really a 'heavy' working for Kyouka. I'll tell you in advance of a check as and when this becomes a thing. Also note that, like any disadvantage, it could potentially be inverted for positive rerolls - spending a void point to use the rumours to improve your odds of intimidating someone, for example. 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Whilst Yasuki Niku talks to Aruzhan, Kenshin and the newly returned Hekasu, the seated monk turns his head slightly to face Yoshi. He doesn't open his eyes, but one greying eyebrow raises slightly.

"You sound like you have a question to ask, Yoshi-san, but that you're not sure what it is." He says. "Which is good. Finding the specific question you need to ask is the first step to wisdom, according to the Little Teacher. People should ask questions; it is the best way to learn - provided, of course, that those questions are answered."

 

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So much for standing still! I should have run after a 'bird' too while I had the chance....

"Most honorable monk-sama..." 

...but that would probably be a sin against courage. 

"...I hope someday to read a copy of the Dao of Shinshei. The first of Rokugan's great works...."

As an honorable ronin my main question every day is 'Where is my lunch coming from?'

"I do find myself curious how a monk knows of my father. Or grandfather? It seems like ... you would move in different circles. Though my father once mentioned a Hiruma samurai or ronin from Maemikake village in the Shinomen forest. That person was skilled in using the bounties of nature. Your ... innovative use of the white ants brought that back to my mind. Are you he? If it is not an imposition to ask, what experiences did you share with my father?"

That's enough talking. Bow you fool.

Yoshi stops talking and respectfully bows.

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Perhaps unexpectedly, Aruzhan releases a stressful sigh when Yasuki asks if they plan to stop at peaceful mooring inn.  It seems yet another delay on the ronins’ journey may be necessary.  When she speaks, her voice takes on a more pleasant tone.  “I have heard that peaceful mooring inn is a wonderful place and we shouldn’t miss stopping there, at least for a short time.”

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The crab samurai smiles.

"Now that that it's more empty with Daidoji Akinari-sama's party either leaving or left and just the odd merchant or courier there, I find it so." Niku says. "It's a very picturesque place - a small inlet in the Golden River in a sheltered nook. The Daidoji, supposedly, pointedly directed the merchant road to pass close by it when they built it rather than establish a travelling station in the deeper woodland, and I think they made a wise choice. There's not much traffic on the river at this time of year, but it's a good place to move goods onto and off ships travelling into the northern part of Yasuki lands, which is why I end up splitting most of my time between Seido Hikora and there."

She shrugs. "I really should be two people, to be honest, given the distance between the two, because I waste so many hours travelling back and forth. However Yasuki Onodera-sama would rather delay a few merchants here and there than issue warrants of authority to his more junior vassals - my Lord prefers accountability to stay in the hands of a specific few individuals he can easily keep track of, which makes sense when he's ultimately responsible for everything we approve. I can't say many people tend to complain at being 'forced' to spend a night at Peaceful Mooring Inn, anyway."

 

 

Meanwhile, the monk smiles slightly, and cracks the fingers of one hand.

"Wait long enough, listen, and a question does eventually answer itself." He says. "So, yes, you are one of Hideki no Ikebana's children. Which is good, because that means we don't have to pummel one another to hikiniku over a murder. That's a good start, since I find that sort of thing somewhat spoils a new acquaintance."

He nods to Yoshi, plants his staff and gradually stands.

"And yes, I think the story you're remembering is probably about me. I am 'from' Maemikake, and it is a Hiruma village, but I'm not Hiruma. And as to social circles; I wasn't born a monk. Not many are, given the traditions of the Brotherhood. But I wasn't some doddering old retainer retiring when he couldn't remember which end of a katana to hold it by anymore, or else an enthusiastic young noble giving up her status because she thought enlightenment was just a matter of sitting on a rock under a waterfall for a few hours. There was a more practical issue. My family, at the time, was suffering from a terrible curse."

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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"A family curse? Like ... a real supernatural curse? I am sorry to hear that. In the stories one hears, they don't often end well. I hope your family proved to be an exception."

Yoshi gave a small sigh. ...In for a zeni, in for a koku...

"Families can be tricky business. I think you should know that my father stopped using 'no-Ikebana' before his death on the Carpenter Wall.  And I now go by Yoshi no-Kaze. Perhaps if the Fortunes are very kind, some day a monk will comment on the Kaze children."

Yoshi paused to watch the monks reaction.

"i also think its good that we are not pummeling the hikiniku out of each other..." I'm pretty sure I know how that ends up for me, "If we are new acquaintances, may I ask your name?"

 

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Posted (edited)

"Something of an exception, and in this case not so supernatural." He says. "More specifically: the family's 'terrible curse' was me."

The monk's smile momentarily gives way to a rather nasty grin. Yoshi recalls seeing things trying to storm the battlements of the Kaiu wall that grinned like that.

"Joining the Brotherhood was the best answer for everyone concerned; not that my family would agree.  I am unsure whether they would be more shocked to find me in these robes, or to find me still breathing at all. Let us say I could pretend that I met the Ronin of the Blossoms at the Winter Court in the gardens of Kyuden Doji - but that I fear you might not be convinced..." He sighs, shrugging. "...we worked at similar trades. We hunted together, a few times. Sometimes animals. Mostly not."

"My sympathies, anyway." He continues, in a more sombre fashion. "Hideki-san was a better man than you expect to find in his circumstances, and I am sure his sons - there were two of you, last I heard? - are the same. I had heard rumours of his death at the wall, though merely as one name in an unpleasantly long list. I am sorry he died, but I cannot say I am sorry he found a more honourable death than the one he and I expected he would ultimately receive; a Scorpion knife in the back, either in lieu of being paid money owed or for the terrible sin of inconveniently continuing to exist. I don't really think about names these days, but if you need something to call me, I suppose Shishi will do. I am currently sworn to try and keep this one," He gestures vaguely behind himself at Yasuki Niku, "from hurting herself too severely and to lurk nearby when she deals with people like Doji Akinari-sama. After the festival? I supposed I'm just wandering. The Abbot sent me out into the world to find something worthwhile, but I honestly think he was more concerned that I look somewhere else than whether I found it or not. Restoring this shrine might be something, but aside from showing respect to the Fortune, I cannot imagine it would amount to much; I do not see many people feeling a need to make pilgrimage here."

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

"You give me much to consider. Thank you Shishi-sama. My older brother is Nobuyuki ... no-Ikebana. I have not seen him in a little more than a year. But he was well last time we spoke. Perhaps I will get a chance to tell him about you someday. And maybe warn him that we can be recognized by our bows."

Yoshi bows one last time.

 

Edited by Void Crane

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Posted (edited)

"So...ah..." says Niku. "I suppose we're done. Is there anything else I can assist you with, samurai-san?"

 

 

"Indeed." Says the monk. "I hope you and your brother are well, and remain so. And I hope we shall meet again."

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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