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» L5R: Steel & Honour, Chapter 11, Ryoko Owari Toshi
Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Apr 26 2011, 11:35 PM
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Ryoko Owari Toshi, or Journey's End City, is one of the largest population centers in the entire empire. Is sprawls along both sides of the River of Gold and occupies an island in the center, called Teardrop Island. A large, graceful bridge spans the river connecting Unicorn lands and Scorpion lands. All along the southern stretches of riverbank lay massive warehouses and docks, bustling with activity both mundane and illicit. Merchant ships and barges all vie for place in the river dropping off and picking up cargo from all over the empire.

The Unknown Path gets a berth rather quickly and a small pilot boat guides it through the mess of traffic. Kaede is amazed by the sheer number of people working on the docks and ships alone and he looks upriver toward the city proper with anticipation. Once the plank is down and dockhands begin scrambling aboard Yoritomo Buntaro comes alongside the Monkey.
"We will only be docked here until our cargo is unloaded, then the ship will wait for us downriver. My business should only take a week and a half, and in that time I will be staying at the House of Plum Blossoms, you are free to join us if you wish. It is in the northern section of the city, just tell Koko that you are my guest, she will see to it you are taken care of."

He walks away to gather his things and leaves Kaede to venture into the city on his own.

The day is still young and the hum of the crowds is invigorating so Kaede makes his way through the city slowly taking in all the sights and smells and sounds. There are so many samurai from all over the empire here, not just Scorpion or Unicorn, but well dressed Crane, haughty Phoenix, and even a group of Badger mercenaries. Shika remains nervously close to Kaede's side, keeping still and quiet when he stops, and following briskly when he walks. He would have thought she would be more difficult to manage in such a large crowd, but she is really well behaved.

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Greg
 Posted: Apr 28 2011, 10:00 PM
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Kaede will attempt to locate a swordsmith. ((I don't remember where the one I was initially trying to find was believed to be located, but if he is supposed to be here, Kaide will look for that one))
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Apr 29 2011, 12:36 AM
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Toku Kaede continues to wander through the crowded streets, though now with a purpose. He stops in an open square and takes a look at the skyline all around him. While most of the buildings stop after three or maybe four stories there are a few large and magnificent pagodas scattered here and there. The maroon roof of the Scorpion residence is plainly visible in the north part of the city, and to the east rise many of the gilded spires belonging to some of the largest shrines in the empire. Every major fortune seems to be represented there, and even most of the applicable minor fortunes as well. The Scorpion Courtier school dominates the central city, along with residences of notable families often here on business, and of course the most prestigious geisha houses stand a few stories above their competition.

As Kaede looks to the west he sees what he has been looking for, a lower skyline shrouded in a low blanket of smoke, signs of a metalworks. Calling Shika to remain with him he heads off along the most direct route. A Scorpion patrol stops him in the streets halfway there and demands papers. He is of course allowed to continue on, but the soldiers recommend that he conduct his business in the city quickly and efficiently. If he wasn't so laid back he might be offended at the leaders tone.

Once he reaches the metalwork district he inquires after a smith specializing in No-Dachi, he gets a few leads. Tsi Osen is the preeminent smith in the city, and a master of all types of weaponsmithing. There is an old man called Gozaki who has a new apprentice and they seem to specialize in larger weapons, Naginata and No-Dachi and the like. And another man called Yuzan has been seen recently working on a magnificent No-Dachi.

As he heads down the road to investigate these leads further he notes a crowd gathered in the middle of the street with an empty space in the middle. In this space are two men grappling with one another. One is a heftier man with pale skin, stripped down to only his undergarments, sweat beading on his forehead, the other, likewise disrobed, is very different looking. He is less bulky but rippling with muscle, his tanned skin is covered with long, white scars and it appears that he is missing an eye. People around the combatants seem to be wagering money on the outcome, with the odds in favour of the larger man.

The large man grunts with effort and he tries to hook the other mans leg and toss him off balance.
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redeadlink
 Posted: Apr 29 2011, 04:33 PM
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Matsu Akio pulls his leg back and pushes down on the man's shoulders, hoping to use the other man's forward motion to push him down and into the dirt.


"Ore o dare da to omotte yagaru?! I am Matsu Akio, and you will not win!"

This post has been edited by redeadlink: Apr 29 2011, 04:40 PM
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Greg
 Posted: May 1 2011, 09:34 PM
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Kaede stops momentarily to observe the fight, picking up Shika so that she doesn't get the wrong impression and join the two samurai in their scrap. As he watches them, he whispers to Shika, "So girl, which do you think will be winning this fight?" He doesn't fully expect her to understand his question, but is curious to see how she will respond.

This post has been edited by Greg: May 1 2011, 09:34 PM
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 1 2011, 11:10 PM
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Shika barks happily as the two men struggle back and forth.

The large man grunts as he loses his balance, but his feet race to get under his tipping body just in time. He has to let go of his grip on Matsu Akio, though, and the crowd "ooohhhs". He skids his feet to a stop and turns quickly, hands raised, trying to be ready for a counterattack.
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redeadlink
 Posted: May 1 2011, 11:26 PM
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While the man is still off balance, Akio attempts to grab his arms and twist him off his feet to the side, as he is unsure that pushing him back will be effective against the larger man.
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Greg
 Posted: May 3 2011, 01:19 PM
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Rather than push his way around the crowd, Kaede watches the wrestling match, waiting for it to finish before continuing on.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 3 2011, 11:44 PM
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The large man tries to move past Akio's grapple and fails. The Lion grabs his wrists and turns to the side trying to send his opponent to the ground. The man resists, and with much effort begins to break free of the Matsu's grasp. Akio pours all his strength into holding on, the muscles in his arms bulging impressively while his opponent begins to grimace from pain. He tries a desperate move to break free, and suddenly Akio shifts his footing twisting the wrestler off his feet. He hits the ground with a heavy thud and the crowd begins to cheer loudly.

The man leans on one hand and looks up at Akio from the dirt.
"That was most impressive Matsu-san, I apologize for questioning the truth of your story."

The crowd moves around in front of Kaede, some leaving, some collecting money. From his vantage point, a head above most of them, he notices a servant approaching the Lion with his kimono and daisho, and a rather large sword that appears to be a no-dachi. A well dressed peasant hangs back carrying a heap of other weapons and gear, no doubt belonging to the triumphant Matsu.
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redeadlink
 Posted: May 4 2011, 05:02 PM
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Akio bends to help the man up.

"I congratulate you for putting up such a fight, Daidoji-san. It was an honor to wrestle with you."

Akio then turns to his servants and motions for them to bring his clothes. After getting dressed he notices the large man holding a strange looking dog.

"Monkey-san, where did you get such a strange animal?"
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Greg
 Posted: May 5 2011, 01:43 PM
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Kaede looks around, initially confused by the Matsu's directness, but then bows in greeting to the winner of the wrestling match. "What? Ah, Matsu-san. Congratulations on your victory in the wrestling match. In response to your question, I purchased her as a traveling companion from some merchants further south in mantis lands. I do not know the name of her breed, but Shika-chan is quite clever for a gaijin pup."

This post has been edited by Greg: May 5 2011, 01:43 PM
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redeadlink
 Posted: May 5 2011, 10:13 PM
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"I see. I apologize for my direct attitude, but my curiosity got the better of me. As for the wrestling match, it was nothing more than a friendly wager. Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Matsu Akio. Come, walk with me and tell me about your friend here."

Akio bows back to Kaede.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 5 2011, 11:56 PM
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The servants silently bow to Kaede while remaining respectively out of the way of both samurai. They follow along after their master as he walks down the road.
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Greg
 Posted: May 8 2011, 12:47 PM
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"I apologize, Matsu-san. Under normal circumstances, I would enjoy the opportunity to trade tales of our exploits but I'm in the middle of some quite important business at the moment. Perhaps later today we could swap stories over a some sake. By the way, you wouldn't happen to know of any good sake houses, would you? I have only recently arrived here by river."
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redeadlink
 Posted: May 8 2011, 01:45 PM
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"Actually, I have heard of a sake house near here where the service is rumoured to be the best in the city. Perhaps when you have finished your business we can meet there. It is called The House of Red Bulls."

Akio bows to Kaede again, then walks off towards the river.

James you can change the name of the sake house, i was having a mild brainfart.
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