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» L5R: Steel & Honour, Chapter 10, The Road to Shinden Osano-Wo
Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 30 2011, 11:45 PM
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Wow PJ, that's pretty sweet. I knew you were planning on heading to the land down under, but its good to hear that it is happening for sure. But you'll miss my wedding :( Sam and Amy might come out, there's the extra draw of Julle and Elliot here in town as well.

Back to it now...


Some of the monks begin to chant in unison and stamp their feet as they stand around their fallen comrade. Two of them are directed to pick up Goro's sledge, which they detach from the pony and lift to their shoulders with ease. The head monk, who has been doing all the instructing, then jois in with the chanting and stamping and off they head up the hill at an amazing pace. Soon they round a bend in the path and the samurai are left alone with the monk who met them.

"It would be my honour Samurai-sama to show you to the guest chambers and see to it that your needs are met. I can assume that Master Ageku will wish to speak with you and thank you for all you have done." The monk fails to introduce himself, a fault easily overlooked given the mans age, he appears to be over 80 years old!

The journey up to the top of the great hill is long and slow, but the time for rushing is past. The pony, now freed of his load, wickers playfully and nips at the lush grass growing beside the rocky path. The monk chuckles to himself, but remains silent for the rest of the ascent.

Once at the top he turns and motions for the samurai to look at the veiw,
"The Plains of Thunder." He says affectionately. Dark clouds can be seen rolling in from the south and the monk turns and begins moving inside. "We might get a spectacular show from Lord Osano-wo tonight. Come, Come, follow me. We will get you cleaned up if you wish, we have a hot spring here if you would like?"
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Chronocide
 Posted: May 31 2011, 09:03 PM
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Kiyoshi perks up. "A hot spring you say. Now that is a delightful temptation that I am most fond of."
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Itinerant
 Posted: Jun 3 2011, 10:48 PM
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Reijiro breaks his solemn composure, and eagerly nods his head. "That would be most welcome."
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jun 5 2011, 12:29 AM
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The monk shows you to two adjacent rooms, small, but lavish enough to be considered guest quarters in a temple devoid of normal ornamentation. There younger acolytes are ready to take your filthy garmets to be cleaned, and grey robes are provided in the meantime. The clothes are a different shade from those worn by the acolytes so that the monks will not confuse their guests for new members to their order.

The monk waits outside until you are ready and then guides you to the spring. He takes you along well tended gravel paths through tranquil gardens and around still ponds filled with lazy carp. Then he shows you through a building and down a few levels, commenting only briefly that this is where Goro was taken to be looked after. Then you skirt the edge of a courtyard filled with training monks, they move through their stances fluidly and in near perfect unison, the instructor calling out the next forms. You are led through an archway into another courtyard where more advanced monks are sparring with one another, either hand to hand or with axes and staves. Another archway leads you to a covered boardwalk on the edge of a sharp drop and past a shimmering waterfall coming from somewhere higher on the slope, the mist is cool in the breeze and the sound of training men fades behind you. Finally you come to a set of steep and winding stairs that descend about forty feet before opening up to a trio of pools, one of which the waterfall spills into.

One pool is filled with steaming water, and both it and the waterfall pool flow slowly into the third. The monk guides you to it and points to a small gong set on a wooden arch.
"Strike the gong when you wish to have someone escort you back to your rooms. If you need for anything once there do not hesitate to ask. The evening meal will be served in the great hall in two hours time."

He leaves you with a bow and begins his ascent to the main compound.

Upon looking around Reijiro notices that the two samurai are not alone. A wrinkled old man with a towel wrapped around his head is sitting up to his chest in the largest pool. His eyes seem to be closed.
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Chronocide
 Posted: Jun 5 2011, 04:19 PM
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Upon seeing the waterfall Kiyoshi remarks to Reijiro, "Go ahead without me, there is something I have always wanted to try." With that Kiyoshi heads to the waterfall to meditate; staying in his robes.

[OOC]I make the assumption that this is possible. If it is not, then Kiyoshi washes in the cool pool and then relaxes in the hot one.[/OOC]
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Itinerant
 Posted: Jun 5 2011, 08:34 PM
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Reijiro nods his head at Kiyoshi, "But of course." To each his own, he thinks. Presuming the old man to be asleep, or possibly just not caring, Reijiro begins to talk aloud to himself.

"Well...this isn't exactly where I foresaw myself a few months ago. Goro, you truly have taken me on a bit of an adventure. I wonder if you've been cognizant of all that has gone on since you went unconscious. You always seemed to know more than you let on, hell, you're probably aware of my secret. Well, one or two them. But you've been the only companion I've had in years and your friends Kaede and Kiyoshi are bearable. In fact, I probably like them more than I put on.

Well no....that's relative, I've always tried to be amicable to the others for you. The mask, if you will, and beneath that mask is a bit of resentment for their chivalry--the bane of my apathy. But I think beneath that mask, I am a bit fond of them. And the mask beneath that? I don't know. Some days it's hard to see the face beneath all of the facades.

But alas, hot tubs are meant for soaking, not sulking--and this one is quite warm. I think I shall enjoy my stay here. To you, Goro-san, to you. May the fortunes favour your health and recovery."

Reijiro tilts his head back and slows his breathing; enjoying this little slice of heaven.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jun 5 2011, 11:48 PM
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The water pounds onto Kioshi's body as he positions himself under the falls. It is not a large waterfall, but it drops a long way, and it is cold. All sound, even the beating of his own heart, is washed away. Feeling blends into one, the cold mingling with the discomfort of crossed legs on stone, becoming simply the state of the world. Kiyoshi's mind finds its center.

The old man with the towel wrapped head clears his throat of what sounds like very thick phlegm. His eyes remain closed.
"Such talk of masks, one might think a Scorpion has learned to both climb mountains and swim." He coughs once and then continues, "If you truly wish to beseech the fortunes on behalf of your friend then know that as each fortune represents an aspect of life, either mundane of specacular, from rice to thunder, so to does their favour flow most readily to those who embrace whole-heartedly those aspects in their own life. The careless and the apathetic never accomplish much, because the fortunes cannot deem them worthy."
He opens his eyes a bit, revealing the milky white pupils of the blind. He turns his head and looks straight at Reijiro.
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Chronocide
 Posted: Jun 7 2011, 07:40 PM
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OOC{ hadn't really thought about how Kiyoshi doesn't really have much to do while undergoing his waterfall training}

Kiyoshi stays under the waterfall as long as he is able, a test of body mind ans spirit.
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Itinerant
 Posted: Jun 7 2011, 08:39 PM
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Reijiro seems to be caught off guard by the old man's remarks. "I very much doubt the fortunes care too much about me. What is a lazy ronin to them? I am no monk. I have little to offer them. And what is this talk about Scorpions? They seldom swim, and their masks are their own business."
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jun 12 2011, 12:48 AM
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"You are right... and you are wrong..." The blind monk responds thoughtfully. "I have found through a lifetime of service that none really have much to offer, but offering of what little they do have, true sacrifice, is what proves their worth. The fortunes are always watching, they rarely turn a blind eye on any mortals." He chuckles at his own pun. "But if you care not for the blessings of the fortunes, then why are you here, high up on this thundering mountain?" Cold drops of rain begin to fall from high clouds.

Kiyoshi, in a peaceful trance, hears a sound behind him, a rustling in the underbrush. He feels the trusty weight of his daisho tucked into his obi. All thoughts of the pounding waterfall leave him and he crouches motionlessly in a bright green glade in his familiar home of Kitsune Mori.
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Itinerant
 Posted: Jun 12 2011, 10:22 PM
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Reijiro sits up and looks at the man with a steadfast gaze. "I come not for myself, but for our friend Goro. He is of your order, and quite sick. It seems he has the taint on him. We tried removing it with bits of jade in tea, but it is a particularly vile infirmity that even the strength of a monk such as Goro will need aid in overcoming. If I do pray at all, it is for him."

This post has been edited by Itinerant: Jun 12 2011, 10:23 PM
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Chronocide
 Posted: Jun 13 2011, 10:56 PM
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Just as in a dream where one is not aware that they are not in reality. Likewise Kiyoshi will not be aware that anything is amiss with this vision, unless he tries to think to hard about how he got were he is.

Kiyoshi rises and strides across the glade, taking in the pleasant soft sounds of the forest.

Does Kiyoshi recognize this area? Is it close to an actual fox clan settlement?
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jun 15 2011, 12:10 AM
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Kiyoshi feels intimately familiar with this forest, he knows it is the kitsune mori, though he doesn't specifically recognize the area.

The smell and weight of the glade air suffuse Kiyoshi with peace, he looks between the boughs of the trees and is disappointed that from where he is there seems to be an obscuring mist blocking him from seeing more than a couple meters. He hears the same distinct sound, a rustling in the brush ahead of him, as of some small creature oblivious to his prescence.

----

"Ahh, Goro." Says the monk, rolling the name around in his mouth. "And what have you given Goro? What sacrifices have you made for this follower of Fire and Thunder?"

The cold drops of rain provide a pleasant contrast to the warmth of the pool.
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Itinerant
 Posted: Jun 15 2011, 10:32 AM
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Reijiro enjoys the cool drops of rain on his face as he blinks them away. "I won't feign modesty or even altruism; personally, he was convenient for my travels. A monk as a companion whisks away many troubles that a humble ronin might otherwise have. But I actually enjoyed his company. Then we picked up this one," Reijiro nods with his head towards Kiyoshi, but then realizes that it is a moot gesture. "And another samurai. Together, we had some eventful travels until a rather gruesome Ogre ambushed us and tainted Goro. Since then, he has been our foremost concern and burden. But, alas; it is what friends do."

Reijiro eyes the monk with dull interest, but then resumes twirling his finger in the water.
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Chronocide
 Posted: Jun 15 2011, 11:12 AM
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Kiyoshi timidly aproached the rustling brush, so as not to alarm it's occupance.
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