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» L5R: Steel & Honour, Chapter 11, Ryoko Owari Toshi
Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 8 2011, 11:45 PM
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As Matsu Akio walks away his servants follow him past Kaede. The Monkey is able to take a good look at the magnificent no-dachi being carried reverently by the peasant and all the stories told by his father about his grandfather come back to him. The sheath is aged and a bit battered, black with a few small symbols painted in gold near the ends. The tsuba is mostly indistinguishable but distinctly oval in shape. And the handle is in the traditional lion colours of brown and gold, of note however is the object dangling from the pommel by a woven thread. It is dull and yellow-ivory, two points up and one point down, the tooth of a lion. Perhaps a common decoration among Lion samurai, but it causes Kaede to wonder nonetheless.

He continues along his path seeking out one of the smiths recommended to him, though taking note of the name of the sake house where he can meet Akio-san again.
Which one?

Once Akio is out of the square and onto a side street his attendant approaches him and says under his breath, "Matsu-sama, perhaps we should leave this city. Wrestling Crane in city streets is not the way to seek glorious death. If I may be bold to suggest that head south at least a little ways, perhaps back to the Isles of Silk and Spice, or even to the Carpenter Wall?"

The peasant smith looks at the ground awkwardly but remains silent. merchants and peasants pass by leaving much room for the imposing Lion and his servants, other samurai eye him cautiously.
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redeadlink
 Posted: May 8 2011, 11:59 PM
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@Jimbo - The House of Red Bulls (wink-wink)

Akio looks disbelieving at his companion/servant.

"You say that I should break my word to the noble Monkey-san that I would meet with him? I would not even think of such a thing.

Also, if we were to anger every Crane in this city, would not the battle be glorious indeed? But have no fear, I have no intention of fighting more Crane. Once I have met with the Monkey clan member, we shall move on. Now find directions to the House of Red Bulls."

As his servant finds directions, Akio takes the no-dachi from his other servant, and contemplates the Lion-tooth dangling from the handle.

"Soon, I will restore your honor."

This post has been edited by redeadlink: May 9 2011, 12:00 AM
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Greg
 Posted: May 10 2011, 02:08 PM
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Kaede stores the information for later. Accusing a Matsu of stealing your grandfather's sword is not a wise decision unless one is absolutely certain.

He carries on down the street to find Gozaki's workshop.


This post has been edited by Greg: May 10 2011, 02:08 PM
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 11 2011, 12:13 AM
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The attendant appropriately shrinks away from his lords words and looks down at his feet. "Indeed Matsu-sama, it is as you say. I meant no disrespect."

The House of Red Bulls is quite audaciously ornamented, but as reported the service is excellent. Matsu Akio finds himself pleasantly amused and entertained there for a number of hours.

Toku Kaede continues to search the street for signs of an elderly weaponsmith. After asking around a bit more he is shown by a young lad of seven to a small shop in an out of the way alley. The old man there bows low.
"Toku-sama it is my pleasure to serve you." He says in a scratchy voice. Behind him Kaede can hear the sound of air being pumped through a bellows. It seems that there is a twinkle in the aged mans eyes that belies his years, and his body shows that he has seen many of those.
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redeadlink
 Posted: May 11 2011, 12:21 AM
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-To my Attendant-

"What kind of man would you say that the Monkey-clan is? I know that you did not speak to him, but I would like another opinion."

Akio has some sake, but not very much, due to him preferring to be sober if battle comes. He also sits with his right side against a wall, so that his left eye can scan the room.
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Greg
 Posted: May 14 2011, 01:10 PM
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Kaede is respectful to the old swordsmith, who's age would clearly make him a master of his trade, and worthy of respect despite his lower social ranking. "Good day, Smith-sensei. I am searching for a particular sword and perhaps, seeing that you are a master in the craft of blades, you might be able to assist me." Kaede describes the blade, as well as it's legacy as best he can, though he tries to keep the family shame of it's theft out of public earshot.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 17 2011, 08:18 AM
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The wizened old man invites Kaede inside his shop and through the back to a small display room, passing his apprentice at work on the way. The young man is average height, but stocky, with a shaved head and tanned skin. He bows instinctively as the samurai is lead past.

The old smith offers Toku Kaede a seat and begins preparing some tea while kneeling across from him. On the walls are displayed very fine quality blades, interspersed with hanging paintings, obvious gifts from wealthy samurai patrons over the years. Most of the swords on the wall are katana and wakizashi, but a few down at the end are no-dachi, they look much older.

As Kaede tells his tale of familial woe the smith listens intently and pours them each some tea. He does his best to describe the sword that he has never seen, but feels now that his story is somewhat lacking in the face of this masters scrutiny, where before it had always seemed so clear to him.


As I'm not sure how much you would reveal right off the bat to this old man...

When Kaede finishes speaking the old man puts his tea down and folds his hands. After a long few moments of thought he asks, "Toku-sama, I wish to help you in any way that I can, and I would like to believe that my memory is still as sharp as any of my blades. What was your grandfather's name? What did he look like?"


Matsu Akio's attendant turns his eyes to the ground before replying, "Sama, the Monkey samurai seemed to me young, but brave, and his face showed a compassion that I have not seen in a long time. Why, my lord? Do you see him as a threat?"
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redeadlink
 Posted: May 17 2011, 05:08 PM
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"I am a death-seeker. It is part of my being to see everyone as a threat. But that is not what I thought foremost about him. Did you notice him looking at my no-dachi? He looked like he was going to say something but merely bowed and went off on his errand. I wonder if his family has had issues as well."

Akio calls for another round of sake over which he can brood, and also to not stand out from the crowd of drinkers.
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Greg
 Posted: May 19 2011, 07:24 AM
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"My grandfather's name was Hisanobu. He died in battle shortly before I was born, so I do not know what he looked like. I'm assuming that he looked much like my father, so he would look somewhat like me, except shorter, stockier, and more Lion-ish."
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 22 2011, 08:17 PM
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The smith looks thoughtful, "Did he acquire the sword himself, or was it a gift from his lord? I do not recall passing on any of my blades to a Toku or Fuzake. You said it was a no-dachi, yes?"

He thinks long and takes a drink of tea. "Those times were difficult, when was that, over forty years ago now? I was still apprenticed to my master Furojin then." He sighs and looks like he is about to be lost in thought.


In the House of Red Bulls the sake is sweet and smooth and the atmosphere quiet, Akio is able to do some deep contemplation.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 25 2011, 01:02 AM
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The steady hammering coming from the forge stops and Kaede can hear someone talking to the apprentice. The old smith seems not to notice, his eyes roving across the weapons he has made in the past. There is a knock at the door, hard, and it startles the man from his thoughts. The apprentice enters followed by a big man in full armour, it is as unusual as he is.

Gozaki quickly stands and bows.
"Good afternoon Hida-sama, you are here for your katana, yes?"

The Crab eyes Kaede warily and then strides into the room, "Hai, Gozaki have you finished the repairs? I wish to leave this flea ridden city as soon as possible."

The smith bows again, "Hai, Hida-sama, I have." He motions to his apprentice to go an bring the weapon. then he turns to Kaede, "I am sorry, Toku-san, that I cannot help you more. Perhaps if you seek out Tsi Osen he may be able to help point you in the right direction." He bows.

The apprentice returns holding a rather thick bladed katana, one almost as long as a no-dachi and the smith turns his attention back to the Crab. Kaede feels suddenly like he is intruding.
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Greg
 Posted: May 27 2011, 12:55 PM
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Kaede thanks the smith for his time, and leaves the smordsmith's workshop. He then tries to locate the other swordsmith of which he has heard.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 31 2011, 12:01 AM
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Not having my regular laptop has thrown off my groove on here, sorry about that guys.

Tsi Osen's workshop is much easier to find and Kaede enters the large display room only to be greeted by a smiling young man bowing repeatedly low. When he discovers that The Monkey wishes to speak with his master his face loses some of the sparkle it started out with and he begins to demur, "I am sorry Toku-sama, but my master is a very busy man, he is not available without an appointment, even for one so esteemed as yourself. I am afraid that he is quite busy with a piece he is working on for the Empress."

Kaede listens to the mans excuses, and notes a distinct lack of the sounds of any sort of metalworking coming from the shop.

---

In the House of Red Bulls Matsu Akio begins his second drink. A man with a thin mouth and smiling eyes approaches him. His hair is dyed white and his kimono is a bright sea blue with powder blue edges, the fabric is patterned with white cranes, and a gold mon is stitched above his right breast depicting a crane with a pearl in its beak. He studies Akio for a moment and then asks,
"May I join you for a moment Matsu-san?"
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redeadlink
 Posted: May 31 2011, 06:41 PM
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I'm assuming he is a Crane?

"I am actually waiting to meet with someone, but I would welcome some company at the moment, Crane-san. Please sit."

Akio is somewhat uncertain on what to think of this man.
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Greg
 Posted: Jun 2 2011, 01:21 PM
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Kaede's interest is piqued at hearing of Tsi Osen's latest project. "For the Empress, eh? Sounds very interesting. Would you be able describe what is is that he's making for her?"
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