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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Muskrat
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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Muskrat » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:43 pm

Ryoko bows to Supai. "Let me express my admiration for your dedication to your duty in such times as this. Unfortunately, the tsunami seems to have filled out the wells with salt water and there is little fresh water to drink. Indeed, we have more sake to drink than clean water now." She shakes her head at the irony. "Will sake do instead of water? If so, I can leave some with you."

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ManWithDoor
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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by ManWithDoor » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:56 pm

Kyousuke addresses those present when the priestess' body is returned and placed in the pyre. He hopes to re-contextualize the situation, versus the natural despair that is present. He mourns the passing of Asahina Kyo-sama, and praises her service to the Celestial Heavens and her caretaking of the souls of the people.

The courtier uses all his natural and trained talent at speaking to persuade the populace that this is their moment to prove their worth to the Kami and the Fortunes. That in their extremes of hardship, and even loss of spiritual guidance, that they can shine brightly in the moment regardless of the situation. To raise their Karma to be born into a higher station in the next life, or even be led to their rest in Yomi, the Realm of the Blessed Ancestors.
If anyone has played Frostpunk, I feel like the Hope meter is plummeting and the Discontent meter is rising ... and soon I'll be thrust out into the Wilderness to freeze. Or in this case perhaps thrown off a cliff into the sea, as a situation-appropriate alternative. :D
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Orvost » Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:32 pm

Shonogen watches the flight path of the two cranes. A nesting pair perhaps? He takes their appearance as an omen and decides to investigate the gardens where they landed.

Shonogen looks over any shiftless peasants milling about and singles out the biggest one.

"You there! Come stand at my post. I will return shortly. Make sure nothing is taken. If I return and you are gone, I will hunt you down and kill you as a thief and deserter. If anything is missing when I return, I will kill you as a thief and accomplice."

Not wishing to leave sentry duty in the hands of an incompetent for too long, Shonogen sets off at a quick pace.

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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Graven » Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:33 am

Watching the priestess be brought in, Jun sighs, the weight of the day pressing down on him. By this point, class distinctions have blurred for him, the dead are the dead, each needing their rites. He takes a drink of sake to clear the ash from his throat and takes a moment for private prayer. "Kanko-Cho-san, would you like to lead this funeral? It seems more fitting to me."
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.
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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Sasori » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:43 pm

As Kanko-Cho sees the dead body of her mentor, one can see disbelief in her face. The young Shugenja is shocked and has problems with keeping her On.
When Jun asks her if she would like to take care of the rites, it takes her a moment to realise that he spoke to her.
"Hai, I will take care of the rites", answers the young Crane, her voice on the verge of breaking and her eyes filled with tears.

Asahina Kanko-Cho starts with the preparations to keep her mind focused, singing a prayer while doing so. Every movement controlled and slow. Some might think the young Shugenja wants to do everything perfectly for her mentor and sensei. Others might think that this death was too much for her. But what ever the reasons might be, she fulfills her duty as Shugenja of the Crane Clan.
“The wind moves with such subtlety, you do not even notice your own breathing. Be aware. Only a fool knows the wind is empty.” Tao of Shinsei

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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Hermit » Wed May 26, 2021 3:50 am

Standing alone and ankle deep in the fetid muck of what had once been an arable plot of land like some gaunt scarecrow, Gensai peers down impassively at the trio of coins held within the palm of his bandaged hand. Gently brushing away the mud with his thumb, a faint luster glints from each individual coin beneath Lord Moon's pale light, squinting eyes making out the distinctive markings denoting which Clan they’d been minted by. After a moment of internal debate, the shugyōsha decides that he will discuss with the others in charge of relief efforts on what should be done with this small yet significant sum of wealth.

Looking up from his quiet appraisal of the koku, Gensai wearily regards the ravaged fields surrounding him. Earlier he’d been helping clear the wreckage from what was once the lively Cresting Wave Inn with the assistance of those survivors with the strength and resolve to do so. The endeavor had been arduous and taken a toll on his fatigued body, but sheer determination had ensured that the task was completed with no complaints. Once the Inn had been sufficiently cleared of debris, it quickly dawned on the wanderer that aside from his prized daisho and ono, the furoshiki containing the bulk of his possessions had been conspicuously absent from the random array of equipment and keepsakes he’d discovered scattered about the inn’s ruined interior. Ensuring that the belongings were set aside for their respective owners to collect, provided they were still alive of course, Gensai had quietly set out in the direction of the nearby fields, praying that the tsunami had not simply dragged his remaining possessions away into the fathomless depths of the ocean to never be seen ever again.

Myriad detritus from the town is strewn haphazardly about like toys cast aside by an unruly child. Here and there the shugyōsha’s gaze is met with the morbid sight of drowned and broken corpses similarly interspersed throughout the flooded tracts. Men, women, the elderly, even a few children here and there can be counted among the dead. It is only with considerable effort that Gensai is able to prevent his gaze from lingering on the disturbing scene before him lest despair seize his weary mind and frame within its disheartening grip. One such body stands out from the others however, prompting Gensai to carefully trudge his way between flotsam and corpses for further inspection. Taking the time to examine this victim more closely yields an unexpected miracle to the vagabond.

A young heimin girl, perhaps only slightly younger than Gensai himself, lies in deathly repose on the murky earth facing heavenward with eyes closed and an almost tranquil expression on her lifeless face. A closer look at her sodden garb reveals her to be one of the Cresting Wave Inn’s attendants.

The reason for singling her out among the rest of the dead becomes further apparent as his eyes slip further down and immediately widen at what she has clutched tightly to her chest. Held tightly beneath nerveless delicate fingers is the recognizable sight of the shugyōsha’s sizable furoshiki. The fabric is soaked and torn in several places but it's nothing that a bit of needlework won't be able to mend.

The miraculous nature of this discovery is not lost on Gensai, nor is the fact that this young woman had prioritized the safeguarding of the possessions of one of her establishments patrons rather than saving her own life. Offering gratitude to the Fortunes and the Seven Rōnin, Gensai kneels down and murmurs words of sincere thanks to this selfless heimin before gingerly removing the large cloth bundle from her lifeless grasp, taking exceptional care not to touch her directly whilst doing so.

Before departing, Gensai commits himself to the grim task of counting the dead occupying this patch of land, knowing that they would need to eventually be collected and brought over to the shugenja that remained for proper funeral rites. Finally, as if to distinguish her resting place from the others, the vagabond marks the place where the heimin girl had fallen with a makeshift marker comprised of what had been a stray garden lamp post festooned with a bloodied strip of tattered silk that had been torn from his kimono earlier to serve as an improvised bandage for his abraded hands.

Gensai’s return to the village square is cut short by an unexpected smell of smoke drifting faintly through the brine choked air. Gazing searchingly up at the moonlit horizon, the shugyōsha spies numerous trails of smoke wafting hazily up into the clear night sky just outside of the village. Having a strong inkling as to its source, Gensai’s suspicions are confirmed soon after when he strides briskly over in its direction and finds an assembly of people gathered around hastily erected pyres, the flames struggling to remain alight on the damp cord wood.

Gensai quietly approaches and stands at the periphery of the gathering, his considerable stature allowing him to observe the funerary rites without anyone blocking his view. A cursory scan of the crowd reveals a number of familiar faces such as Kyousuke and Takashi, to name a few. Standing near the foot of the pyres are Jun and Kanko-Cho performing this most somber function of their priestly duties as the bodies of the departed are reverently carried over and lain upon the biers, receiving prayers to aid in guiding their spirits into Meidō from the presiding shugenja while purifying flames rendered their corporeal forms to ash. As expected it is a somber affair, but it is one that Gensai is able to endure with commendable stoicism. It is only when the bifurcated body of Shrine Priestess Kyo is brought forth for her last rites that the cracks begin to form.

As impressionable and dare he say even endearing as the ornery old priestess had been to him in such a short span of time, the overwhelming sorrow that brought the giant rōnin falling to his knees had not been brought on by her passing; at least not directly. Instead it is the sight of her young apprentice struggling with maintaining her On while tearfully carrying out her duties that compromises Gensai’s solemn mien. A memory kept strictly locked and buried away since the outset of his Musha Shugyō comes roaring into the foreground of his psyche with sudden and irresistable malice. Feelings of regret and shame pierce deeply into his heart like cold steel as dark eyes begin to glisten with tears of his own.
''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 Sasori » Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:56 am

After Kanko-Cho finished the rites for her mentor she looks exhausted and barely in control of her emotions.

"I think it is best, if we continue tomorrow", the young Shugenja says with a shivering voice to Jun.
She bows deeply before the pyre, the people and the Shugenja at her side before retreating. Slowls the young woman walks towards the darkness and away from the burning fires.

Kanko-Cho walks without realising that she passed by the building which the Samurai chose as their residence for the nights. Her feet keep moving until she reaches the path leading to the shrine.
“The wind moves with such subtlety, you do not even notice your own breathing. Be aware. Only a fool knows the wind is empty.” Tao of Shinsei

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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Graven » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:05 am

As the flames of the shugenja's pyre begin to burn low, a great loneliness grips him. He wanders away from the smoke and into what remains of the village. He looks up at the stars, picking out the familiar patterns. A deep breath, then a weak whistle, the notes broken and disjointed. He runs his tongue across his lips, wishing he had brought water with him. He inhales again, the wet air filling his lungs, and a series of sharp notes cuts through the evening. He looks around, hoping to see Tentsüü step out from behind a pile of rubble. Seeing no such thing, he begins his own search, either for the horse or its body.
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.
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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by ManWithDoor » Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:38 am

Doji Kyousuke stands next to his mother Doji Aiko during the ceremony, attentive to her needs and ready to support her should the need arise. He has spent so much time organizing the peasantry, with his mother keeping the log of the dead, he has had little time to stand still and think. To feel the loss and shock of the Tsunami, the death of his uncle, the damage done to the Clan. He draws comfort from the nearness of his mother, part of him feeling like a little child in a scary world, clutching the leg of a parent to protect him from the monsters in the dark.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: The Great Wave: Day One

Post by Sasori » Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:40 am

Slowly the young Shugenja stumbles along the path to the shrine. Her mind wandering to the loss of her mentor, which she felt more intense than she should. At some point she fell to her knees, tears flowing down her cheeks, crying silently in the lonely darkness of the path.
Kanko-Cho remembered her time before the gempukku. The exclusion and loneliness. The laughter and curses. Only the old Shugenja Asahina Kyo looked past her eyes and acknowledged her talents. And now she was gone. Taken by the waves.
A sudden wave of emotions crushed down on the young woman and she wondered if anybody would miss her, if she were taken by the waves instead of her mentor.
“The wind moves with such subtlety, you do not even notice your own breathing. Be aware. Only a fool knows the wind is empty.” Tao of Shinsei

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