Scroll One: Kyōen no Torekkā

The Emerald Empire of Rokugan. It is a land upheld by honor, guided by fate, ruled by destiny. The Great Clans each support the Emperor, but inter-clan conflict is inevitable—both in the Emperor’s courts and on the battlefield. In the midst of danger and turmoil, honor must be your sword and your armor.

It is an era of sudden change and upheaval in the Emerald Empire. Mortal schemes, elemental imbalances, and celestial turmoil have disrupted the political, military, and spiritual equilibrium of Rokugan. Long-simmering rivalries and fresh betrayals ripple through the courts and on the battlefield. The Chrysanthemum Throne is beset by threats from without and within, and the honor of the seven Great Clans shall be put to the test.
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Hermit
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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Hermit » Fri Jul 09, 2021 4:29 pm

With the quiet departure of the priests from the funereal ceremony, the vast majority of the somber gathering likewise follow suit shortly after in their muted dispersal from the blazing funeral pyres. Only a small handful remain, one among this number being the crestfallen rōnin whose heaving broad shoulders from choked sobs and half whispered pleas for forgiveness spilling from pale lips are the only indication that he still yet lived.

For several long, agonizing moments, Gensai remains rooted to the spot where he’d fallen to his knees, his senses only dimly aware of his immediate surroundings. Guilt and shame stain his thoughts like ink spilled carelessly over a hanging scroll, the sum of his failures roiling bitterly through the core of his being and pinning him down as surely as if he were bearing the titanic weight of a mountain upon his shoulders. Eventually with the passage of time the burden lessens. The outpouring of hot tears cease carving a blazing trail down Gensai’s cheeks and with it the pernicious memories that earlier ago had rung so discordantly within his mind like fūrin caught in an unrelenting gale slowly fade away into distant echoes.

Using his ono as one might use a crutch or a walking stick, Gensai unsteadily props himself up onto his feet, bloodshot eyes blearily registering the conspicuous absence of a large number of the mournful throng. Feeling suddenly distressed by this unexpected solitude, the shugyōsha desperately casts about in search of company among those that linger still. His searching gaze alights upon the familiar figure of the Doji courtier and his Otomo mother, though any thought of intruding upon such a deeply personal moment between a mother and her child discourages Gensai from approaching the pair. Briefly he considers seeking out the grieving Asahina priestess, but just as quickly the idea is discarded along with the acutely painful memories that being in her presence at this time would no doubt evoke.

It is in the midst of these pensive musings that Gensai notices another lone figure some distance away from the funeral pyres. Peering more closely, the shugyōsha recognizes the figure as that of the Unicorn who’d been aiding Kanko-Cho in her priestly duties earlier ago. Jun if memory serves. Like a child seeking comfort and reassurance from a parent or authority figure, Gensai furtively shuffles over towards the Iuchi priest. Several attempts are made by Gensai to alert the shugenja of his imminent approach, only to find his throat inexplicably dry and his tongue utterly leaden within his mouth. Grimacing at this momentary loss of speech; instead Gensai settles for a polite clearing of his throat to announce his presence to Jun.
''At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.'' - Lao-Tzu

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Graven
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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Graven » Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:45 pm

Searching his own thoughts as much as the field in front of him, Jun doesn't hear the other samurai approach. The clearing throat catches him by surprise. He attempts to disguise this by turning slowly, as his father had instructed him. Eyes puffy and red from the pyre smoke spot Gensai, and soot and ash mar the furs that cuff the purple robes. Iuchi Jun is obviously spent, even a day's hard travel seems easy compared to never ending funeral services.

"Gensai-san," he croaks, then coughs, "I apologize. Is there something I can help you with?" Then he glances off into the side, searching the rubble and rice paddies in that direction before returning his attention the man that approaches him.
Fantasy is the exercise bike of the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I might be wrong.
- Sir Terry Pratchett
I will always return
- Shinjo
Formerly Phlale

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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Hermit » Mon Aug 09, 2021 12:30 pm

The haggard figure before Jun is faring no better, perhaps worse if such a thing is even possible. Like the Unicorn, Gensai’s eyes are similarly red and swollen, having not bothered even in the slightest to wipe away the freshly shed tears trailing wetly down his tired and stricken face. There is a meek and diminished presence about the shugyōsha despite the impressively large ono held loosely to the side in his bandaged fist or the glaring disparity in height between himself and the shugenja, appearing more like a lost and timid child than a warrior pilgrim. Glassy, unfocused eyes regain a bit of their clarity however upon his presence being acknowledged by Jun.

Wetting his cracked lips, the response given by Gensai is ponderously tentative, a voice normally possessed of a quiet strength comparable to a distant thunderstorm now reduced to a mere whispering breeze. “Sumimasen, Iuchi-sama… I did not mean to intrude so soon after the ceremony but it…” Gensai trails off to glance over at whatever had caught the Iuchi’s eye, “seems that everyone’s gone elsewhere or is otherwise indisposed of.” he finishes when there’s nothing to be found.

A deafening silence ensues for several awkwardly long seconds with the large man pondering what to say as he scratches at the back of his head with his free hand before reminding himself of what the priest asked him moments ago. “Ano… h-hai, there is something actually. I wanted to ask if there was anything that I could help you with,” he offers with a paper thin smile that struggles to reach up to his eyes. Seeing the questioning look beginning to form on Jun’s face, Gensai provides a summarized report of his recent endeavors*. “So any task that I might be able to assist you in would be most welcome.” he earnestly insists, the desire to distract his thoughts from whatever trauma that haunts him unmistakably evident in the desperation coloring the inflection of his words.

*- Basically a quick rundown of his recent activities prior to the funeral ceremony which are as follows:
-Cleared away the wreckage from the Cresting Wave Inn with the help of the surviving villagers to serve as a makeshift shelter.
-Safely secured whatever remaining items and personal effects belonging to the inn's patrons that he'd discovered among the debris.
-Found three koku whilst searching the rice fields for potential survivors and his own personal effects. No survivors to be found (notes the number of dead that he observed out in the fields that will require proper burial rites), but miraculously managed to come upon the furoshiki containing his own belongings that had been saved by the selfless sacrifice of one of the inn's attendants.
''At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.'' - Lao-Tzu

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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Graven » Mon Aug 09, 2021 5:17 pm

Jun watches the warrior carefully, seeing that he's in distress. As the report ends, he nods, "Thank you for your labour on our behalf," he gives a dry cough clearing more of the soot from his throat. "Hopefully, the Crane will send some sort of relief soon."

The priest hears movement and turns to look, before shaking his head and returning to the conversation. "There is, perhaps, one task you could do for me personally, when time and other duties provide," here he pauses, gazing inwardly a moment before continuing, "When I arrived here, it was with a companion, my horse, Tentsüü. He was stabled with a reliable farmer outside the village. If you find him... no matter his condition, I would be most grateful." He sighs, in relief or resignation. "We have traveled across the Empire together, and many miles before that and it would do me no end of good to see him alive, or to send his spirit off as befits a warrior of his heart."

Jun again pauses, looking away, and making a motion that would seem like he's bringing a fan to his face, though no such object is available. A few breaths and he's more composed, looking back at Gensai. "I know this is a selfish request, but I would appreciate if you kept it in mind."
Fantasy is the exercise bike of the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I might be wrong.
- Sir Terry Pratchett
I will always return
- Shinjo
Formerly Phlale

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